When Akron natives Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney took the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern stage in 2002, the duo known as the Black Keys had secured a record deal but had yet to play a live show together. The historic, 20-minute concert is featured in The Big Come Up, a new mini-documentary from Rolling Stone magazine. Beachland co-owner Cindy Barber looks back at a night to remember.
They basically lied to Alive Records, telling them they had been playing all throughout Northeast Ohio. We gave them an opening slot for another show. My guess is there were about 20 people, including their parents, for their set, although 2,000 people say they were there.
It was kind of bizarre and very raw with Patrick flailing away on drums, and Dan singing with that great blues voice. There was some tension on the stage because they had not played live before. I was thinking, How do these two things go together? But I couldn't stop watching and listening.
People liked it. It was garage rock blues and was a similar kind of a feel to the White Stripes, who we had here right after we opened.
They played here three more times that summer. I believed in Patrick and Dan ... but I never thought they would end up touring with the Rolling Stones. — as told to Barry Goodrich