This past summer, the Black Keys returned, after a five-year absence, with the new album “Let’s Rock” — quotation marks theirs. Five years is a long time, especially when you’re two aging dudes in an old-school rock band. But the Black Keys are still a big enough deal to command the outdoor festival stage that Jimmy Kimmel Live reserves for its biggest artists. And last night, the Black Keys took that stage over.
On the show proper, the Black Keys played “Lo/Hi,” the first of the “Let’s Rock” singles that they released. As an online bonus, they also did “Go,” another of those early singles. Both songs are revved-up, anachronistic roadhouse rockers. And the band played both of them convincingly.
The Black Keys know what they’re doing onstage. Dan Auerbach paces restlessly, busts out triumphant guitar solos, and sings with more muscle and nuance than most of his peers. Patrick Carney play drums. The various supplemental touring musicians do their jobs. There’s nothing in last night’s performance that you haven’t seen the Black Keys do before, but it works as a reminder that they’re still pros at it. Watch both songs below.
“Let’s Rock” is out now on Easy Eye Sound/Nonesuch Records.