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Concert Review: The Black Keys & Band of Horses - Houston, TX

Updated: May 6, 2023

(Photo Credit: Michael La Torre)

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Houston, TX was the stop we attended on The Black Keys' Dropout Boogie tour that has been snaking it's way across the country. With support from alt favorites Band of Horses and up and comers The Velveteers, Houston was in for a show. On a night that had Astros playoff baseball happening on TV during the show, these fans said "Why not both?" and enthusiastically showed their support for all the bands on the bill along with their beloved MLB team.

Up first was The Velveteers from Boulder, CO. This trio had a unique setup with two drummers, one of which was also outfitted with a keyboard and a mounted guitar. They played a mostly alt rock sound that was pretty catchy and had the attention of those guests already in their seats.

Next up was Band of Horses. The South Carolina alt mainstays played a great set including some old favorites, along with new tracks from their recent release Things Are Great. The crowd was really into what Band of Horses had to offer and it was clear that many that were gathered knew a good portion of the band's set. And honestly it doesn't really get more high profile for an opener than Band of Horses, but I mean this is The Black Keys.

When Band of Horses finished up, a video would soon come on the screen with a concerned father from the organization "Dads Interested in Choosing our Kids Songs" (aka D.I.C.K.S) warning fans of the "Dangers of the devilish sounds of The Black Keys music". The hype video was really quite a trip and it did it's job because the Houstonians gathered were chomping at the bit for Akron, OH's finest (sorry LeBron). Soon after, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney would emerge to thunderous cheers and applause.

The band immediately had Houston eating out of the palm of their hand. Even more so when Auerbach announced that the Houston Astros had just hit a home run (breaking a long running tie in the game). They played a little of everything in that initial part of their set and people were dancing in the packed venue.

Soon, the band would shift to play some of their songs from Delta Kream, their album of covers from blues royalty. To do this, they were joined onstage by legendary guitarist Kenny Brown. They played around six or so of these tracks, and while it might not have been something that the entire crowd was familiar with, they had a good time just the same.

The band soon shifted back to a more traditional set and played some favorites including "Next Girl". They soon ended the set before re-emerging for a two track encore of "Little Black Submarines" and "Lonely Boy".

Overall the show was excellent on all fronts and had people out of their seats for most of the night. The Velveteers are a great up-and-coming young band that looks hungry. Seeing Band of Horses again live for what has felt like ages was a treat. Also, having never seen The Black Keys live, this was very special. I thoroughly enjoyed our stop on the Dropout Boogie tour and I hope you'll consider going too!

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