"You guys are on a rocketship to the moon," comedy-show host Stephen Colbert recently told his guests, Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Carney was stunned into silence, Auerbach laughed. For the boyhood friends from Akron, Ohio, it was a surreal punctuation point to a decade-long rise out of Midwestern obscurity into an international arena act.
"Colbert was telling us beforehand just to be ourselves," Auerbach says. "'Don¿t try to be funny. You¿ll never be funnier than my character.' But it was still pretty overwhelming. Pat was so nervous he couldn¿t even speak. Our first on-air TV interview was Colbert -- that¿s just not fair, really."
Black Keys: 7:30 p.m. Monday at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison, $39, $49, $54, $59; ticketmaster.com
Read the full Black Keys interview