I have been a fan of Akron, Ohio’s The Black Keys for several years now and I was pretty excited to see them on Bumbershoot’s main stage. I fondly remember ditching The Postal Service’s main stage set at Sasquatch! a few years back to see them close down the second stage, back when there were only two stages at Sasquatch!, and the put on one of the best festival sets I had seen. The last time they played at Bumbershoot it was on the stage where the Rockstar stage is back in 2005, so it was great to see them return.
The group released “Attack and Release,” a record produced by Danger Mouse, earlier this year. It’s not my favorite record from this blues-rock duo, but it is a solid album. As to be expected, their set was fantastic and fortunately it didn’t lean heavily on the new material.
But as great as the set was, there were two problems: 1) The band only played for 45 minutes, which was 15 minutes less than they were expected to be on stage for, and 2) there was an annoying and ridiculously unnecessary added bass effect for the new songs.
The band unleashed “10 a.m. Automatic,” “Strange Times” and other singles. Singer and guitarist Dan Auerbach flawlessly executed every solo and delivered several extended jams, making for many jaw-dropping guitar god moments. Their set showed that while the band may have taken a little bit of a directional turn on record they have not compromised much with their live show.