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The Black Keys @ Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam

CONCERT REVIEW: The Black Keys Show Impeccable Musicianship During Amsterdam Show

Last night at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome, The Black Keys delivered a stellar performance that reaffirmed their status as rock royalty. With the venue packed to the rafters, the energy in the air was palpable from the moment Dan Auerbach strummed the first chord under laud applause from the nearly filled 17.000 capacity arena in Amsterdam.

The show hit its stride early on, at least for me, and judging from the amount of filming smartphones, I’d say at least a few dozen other people in the crowd as well, during the rendition of fan favourite Gold On The Ceiling and midway through the set Howlin’ For You. These tracks, known for their gritty guitar riffs and catchy choruses, had the a tad more ecstatic than the rest of the set, a level which would only be reclaimed during the band’s encore with the megahits Little Black Submarines & Lonely Boy. The audience went ablaze, singing along at the top of their lungs and dancing with a fervour that shook the floor of the Ziggo Dome.

Visually, the show left a bit to be desired. The stage was backed by a screen displaying psychedelic visuals that pulsated in harmony with the music. Swirling colours and abstract patterns enhanced the sonic experience, creating a hypnotic backdrop that felt like stepping into another dimension. This visual element added a layer of depth to the show, perfectly complementing the band’s blues-rock sound with a modern twist, but with that, all of the effects aside from the music itself have been described. There was very little interaction between the band and fans, and the (almost) sole focus of the show laid on the band’s musical talent.

The musicianship was, as expected, impeccable. Auerbach’s mastery of the guitar is a sight to behold, his fingers deftly moving with precision and passion. Carney, on drums, provided the heartbeat of the performance, driving the music forward with power and finesse. Together, and backed by a quarter of musicians, they played with a tightness and synergy that comes from years of collaboration, yet there was an ease to their interaction that made it all look effortlessly cool.

The setlist was a well-curated mix of hits and deep cuts, ensuring that there was something for every type of fan. Whether it was the raw emotional pull of Tighten Up or the raucous energy of Lonely Boy, each song was delivered with the kind of authenticity and passion that has defined The Black Keys’ career. Even though the band recently released their new album Ohio Prayers, only four songs from this album were played. The setlist focused more on greatest hits rather than recent work.

In all, The Black Keys’ show at the Ziggo Dome was exquisite. The Black Keys are among the best to do this live music thing and last night’s performance was yet another testament to that fact. Eva van den Bosch was there to capture a portion of the show through the lens, which you can check out in the gallery below.

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Glenn van den Bosch