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The Black Keys Hit Rothbury With Powerful Set of Grizzled Blues Rock

July 6, 2008 12:20 AM ET

Akron, Ohio duo the Black Keys delivered an hour-long set of bluesy rockers that were every bit as grizzled as frontman Dan Auerbach's increasingly bushy beard. A rowdy "Set You Free" found drummer Patrick Carney pummeling his kit like a back-alley brawler finishing off an over-matched opponent; "Strange Times" veered between spacey psychedelia and whale calls of feedback; a cover of Captain Beefheart's "I'm Glad" — all chiming guitar and heartfelt vocals — proved a lone tender moment. Still, Auerbach seemed struck by the crowd's mellow nature. "We should go for a record today," he offered near the set's midpoint. "World's Most Peaceful Mosh Pit. Can we do it?"

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Song Stories

“Love Is the Answer”

Utopia | 1977

The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

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