My Black Keys Concert Review

So we went to The Black Keys concert here in Calgary a gazillion years ago, but what with colds and kids I haven’t had time to write about it! But better late than never, as they say.

My wonderful sister-in-law agreed to sleep overnight at our house with our toddlers, age 3 and 1. She’s crazy, I know. And a doll. We also used her Friends and Family discount for her hotel to get a room downtown overnight. I was so excited! So she came over at supper time and we ate supper with her, than took off. We took the bus downtown to get to the concert, since Josh had taken our stuff to the hotel earlier and checked in. We got off downtown and walked a couple of blocks to the bank.

I had taken a lot of care getting dressed, as it was a rare night out. New multi-coloured skirt, black v neck tee, hair tousled and left curly. I dug around in my closet until I found an old pair of silver flats. ‘These are adorable!’ I thought, “Why don’t I wear these more often?”

The answer was waiting for me as we walked to the bank. The shoes were a little big and the heels rubbed. And rubbed. And rubbed. I kept stopping to adjust my foot in my shoes. After one and a half blocks my heel really hurt, and I felt something warm on the back of my ankle. I finally made Josh stop so I could fix it. I looked down to see a trickle of blood running down the back of my heel and pooling in the bottom of my shoe. Josh couldn’t believe it. I asked if I could throw them away so we did and I wore my only back ups, a pair of Dr. Scholl’s Fast Flats, that were in the bottom of my bag. Thank goodness. I spent the rest of the night being careful of where I stepped so I could avoid glass, needles (I didn’t see any but, after living in Vancouver, I am paranoid), and sharp rocks.

The shoe issue resolved we got money, hopped on the next train and got to the stadium extra early. We walked outside for a bit and finally got in line. Men and women had a separate line for searches, so Josh was in the line that sped inside. I was in the slow line of the sweetest older lady (60’s I would guess?) checking tickets and a nice younger woman (late 30’s?) checking bags inside. It took so long that the woman checking tickets would chat while you waited. I was behind two teens that got a ride with their aunt to be there. They talked about how awesome their aunt is, what high school they go to, and where they live. Sweet girls. Then it was my turn. The older lady asked if I was with them. I laughed and said no, and then she goes, “Oh so who drove you?” and I tell her I took the bus. So her next question was “And what high school do you go to?” BA-hahahah! That made my night. I laughed and told her I’m 32 and can barely remember high school, so she laughs with me and says,

“Oh man, you get past 50 and everyone who is younger than 45 looks like they’re still in high school i guess”. Hilarious.

We get in and get checked for IDs, then expensive beers. Then off to find our seats!

Josh and I are happy to find that, although our seats are high up, we are at a good angle to the stage and we are end of the aisle seats. We sit and get ready for the opening act, The Arctic Monkeys. I used to loooovvvveee the Arctic Monkeys. I know all their early stuff but listen to less and less of it so their new stuff was a mystery to me. The Arctic Monkeys start and we’re excited. I am kind of disappointed to find out they don’t use the screens or put up much on the stage. It is just them, their high energy bouncing around (very cool), and a …..VERY…VERY…ANNOYING STROBE LIGHT. We are high enough and at the exact right angle for the higher strobe light on the top of the screen to flash right in our eyes. It is quickly giving me a headache. I am no stranger to strobes, being an ex-raver (what an idiotic time of my life), so it should have been okay. But there was nothing else going on for props except two annoying strobe lights and most of the time it was just a distraction to their stage presence, which was fun.

We quickly found out, during the opening act, the fine print of having aisle seats. You are quickly christened the unofficial ushers. I was asked so many times by so many half cut or full-on drunk people what aisle it was, if I knew what their tickets said for seating…or even, have I seen their friend, girlfriend etc., to which I would respond “I don’t know. How would I know what they look like?” It was more entertaining than bothersome actually. Which surprised me.

Once the Black Keys started I don’t remember anyone asking me anything. I was in The Black Keys world, and was too absorbed to have noticed if someone was trying to get my attention anyway. I did notice the boy across the aisle was grooving to the Black Keys, the same as Josh and I, but his super lame friends were apparently having a contest to see who could stand the most still and look the most bored. Bastards. I felt so bad for him and gave him the thumbs up when he looked over. He was glad to see two people as stoked as he was about the concert.


The Black Keys were magical. Completely amazing. The music of those two filled the stage and took over the room. They are phenomenal musicians. Phenomenal.  On par with classic greats. I was a fan before but now I’m a super fan for life. Just incredible.They used the screens for scenes, such as roads or photos of old houses, that went well with the music and weren’t too distracting. The screens also showed photos of them occasionally.  There was even a song where the lights dimmed and people held up lighters or phone screens. Magic. At the end they played “Everlasting Light” with two disco balls lit up and bathing us all in cool lighting. It was amazing and held me entranced. Amazing, amazing concert. I can’t wait to see what they do next and would see them in concert again in a heartbeat.

Explained in words, shown in photos:

Ok everyone, stand in weird triangular groupings. Nice work.

The Arctic Monkeys.

Ballad moment

Josh and I enjoying the show.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE….The Black Keys. Ballad moment with lighters.


Pretty screens




Everlasting Light!


What an incredible concert.

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