The Black Keys Rock Central Park

Fans dug the bluesy songs from the band's new album, 'Brothers'

The Black Keys perform in Central Park in New York City.
Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images
The Black Keys perform in Central Park in New York City.
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The Black Keys
Central Park SummerStage
New York, New York
July 27th, 2010

As the sun set on Central Park, the Black Keys turned New York's backyard into their own private garage. The Akron, Ohio, duo of singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney stood before a red flag emblazoned with two clenched black fists as they locked in, almost ignoring the crowd, for sprawling, convulsive jams that ran Delta blues through a scuzzy punk filter. Auerbach did ecstatic Hendrix moves while Carney worked a funky thump. But things really got heated when they dipped into songs from this year's excellent Brothers, bringing out a bassist and an organist to fill out the slinky menace on songs like the T. Rex tribute "Everlasting Light" and a stark, rumbling "Howlin' for You." The best moment came near the end, with the band blazing through "Sinister Kid." an outlaw's love plea that rusts through the line between sex and violence. Robert Johnson would be proud.

This story is from the August 19th, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone.

From The Archives Issue 1111: August 19, 2010
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