Editor’s note: Our ongoing experiment continues to work, as Mr. Plemons here follows his castmates into the fray. I got one last holdout I’m working on, but in the meantime… hey, did you see we put up my pictures today?
First off, I’d like to apologize that I wasn’t able to write about my ACL experience earlier. I went all three days this year, which can be pretty exhausting. If anyone else has done the same, you know that all you want to do after the third day of madness is shower, apply lots and lots of aloe vera to your third degree sunburn, and then sleep. This year was especially good because I managed to make it through the entire festival without getting burnt to a crisp. Who knew that Neutrogena made a sun block with SPF 85! (No, I’m not kidding, that’s the only thing that does the job.)
OK, well with that being said… THE BLACK KEYS! I had planned on only talking about one Keys concert but actually ended up seeing them twice in two days. I saw them once at ACL on Saturday night, and again Sunday night at an ACL-sponsored after-show at Stubb’s, a great venue for live music in Austin (and they have great BBQ, so that’s a plus).
The Saturday show was great. We actually lucked out and got to go on stage for their show, which was pretty surreal. In an hour they played a set with at least one song from every one of their albums, including one of my favorites, “Stack Shot Billy,” with an extended guitar intro/solo that made my face scrunch up… in a good way. They then finished things up with “I Got Mine.” The most amazing thing about seeing them live was hearing all this noise and only seeing two guys playing: Dan Auerbach (guitar/vox) and Patrick Carney (drums).
Sunday night’s show was the cherry on top to a wonderful weekend. This time I was able to see the show from the front, which was completely different. I was able see their faces in a little bit more of an intimate setting. Patrick played the drums so hard you would have thought they had insulted his mother, and he was drenched in sweat by the third song. Dan played most of the songs with his eyes closed and would open them up for a few seconds at a time and look around as if he had almost forgotten where he was. Being a guitar player myself, I love watching different people’s playing styles, and I have to say I have never seen anyone play the way he does. I’ve never seen anyone so comfortable with a guitar in their hands. It seriously seemed the guitar was an extension of his body because you could barely tell that he was playing, it was so effortless. He played a solo on the song “Busted” by beating the saddle of the guitar while he used his slide with his left. Basically, It was kind of incredible. All in all, one of the best live show I’ve ever seen.
After the show, someone made the mistake of letting me backstage, which had me feeling a lot like Patrick Fugit in Almost Famous. I ended up meeting Dan briefly, and all I could muster was a corny, “I love your music, man, and thanks for coming to Austin.”