“Rare as it is to come across a band in its prime, at the flaming maximum of its powers, there's no mistaking it when it happens: A sense of inevitability, of necessity even, converges with a sense of surprise, and a fierce, ancient gladness. Wednesday night at Avalon, Ohio's Black Keys reminded a packed house what it means to be on.” —Boston Globe
The Black Keys' Nonesuch debut, Magic Potion, was released in September 2006 on CD and on vinyl. The LP was pressed on 180-gram vinyl and includes instant-download album MP3s.
Childhood friends Dan Auerbach (guitar/vocals) and drummer Patrick Carney (drums) were mowing lawns in Akron when they made their first, self-released, record, 2002’s The Big Come Up; they embarked on their first tour that year, after being fired from their day jobs. Following enthusiastic responses from audiences and critics, the two men decided to remain unemployed so they could devote all of their time to their music. They practiced and toured relentlessly, then released their second album, Thickfreakness (their first on Fat Possum), in 2003. Later that year, they moved into an abandoned tire factory and set up their own rehearsal and recording studio, where they made 2004’s highly praisedRubber Factory—named for their unique space. Entertainment Weekly called Rubber Factory one of the best albums of the year, saying of The Black Keys, “They revive the notion that rock & roll should be murky and mysterious, a stumble into a dark alley late at night,” while The New Yorker said, “Direct, consistent, powerful, and loud, the record is one of the best rock releases of the year.” (The band’s final Fat Possum record, an EP of Junior Kimbrough covers called Chulahoma, was released this spring.)
The Black Keys live shows are fast becoming legendary among fans and critics alike. The Washington Post described the sound at a recent DC show as, “A giant crashing that is louder and fuller and grimmer than a drummer and guitarist alone should be able to produce,” and went on to say that “Auerbach is a ferociously talented guitarist whose leads bristle and burn as if the guitar were a molten mass. And Carney wails on his drums as if he were taking part in an anger management therapy exercise. The pair’s concert is as much a show of force as it is a musical performance.”