You know how it feels when the warm murmur of the crowd is broken by the first licks of the bass from the band? It’s like getting off for concert goers. It turns out that last night’s show at Webster Hall was all about the foreplay. The night started with the soothing voice of Jessica Lea Mayfield, acoustically hypnotizing us. Justin Townes Earle took stage at about 10 o’clock. His undeniable hanky ramble filled the room as the set paced in and out of his latest record, Midnight at the Movies. It’s easy to forget that Justin is just one dude up there singing his heart out. His Nashville charm pelts the crowd with anecdotes and clean cut appearances but his lyrics, as fast as they come, say all the right things to a crowd who is by that time already holding smoke.
Then Dan Auerbach storms the stage. Knowing what I know of The Black Keys, I’m expecting the bass drum to bust out and break something like the Kool Aid man when he enters a room. But he restrains that moment just a little bit longer as he tunes into Trouble Weighs a Ton. Finally Auerbach’s analog drip pours into the crowd with I Want Some More and he rips a fucking masterful set from Keep It Hid. Blues laden and slightly fuller sounding than ‘The Keys, Auerbach’s almost Motown-like hymns still have grit but I want to say they have more soul too.