The Black Keys surpass expectations

By Paige Thompson

An empty arena quickly fills with fans, full of anticipation and excitement for the next few hours.  It is Friday, March 16 at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, and the Arctic Monkeys are about to take the stage to open up for The Black Keys.

The Monkeys come on stage and open up with “Brianstorm,” followed by “This House Is a Circus.”  The band has the intention to get the crowd ready and “warmed up” for The Black Keys to take the stage. It is clear that there is a sense of admiration for the band and a clear friendship and support between them.  The Monkeys are successful, and a the crowd is definitely warmed up as they play the up-beat “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor,” even though it is only the seventh song in their 15-song set of the night.  Alex Turner, the band’s frontman, does an excellent job with his smooth words to the crowd to get them pumped up. The crowd goes crazy when they finally perform the single, “Fluorescent Adolescent,” and close their set with “R U Mine?”  The Arctic Monkeys have set the stage for a mind-blowing show by none other than The Black Keys themselves.

Less than 30 minutes later, the lights go back down in the arena and everyone screams, knowing what is about to come.  The stage set-up is different, and we can finally see the shadows of the band behind the screen as they take the stage.  They plug in their guitars, turn up the bass, and keep the audience waiting with anticipation before they finally start the show off with “Howlin’ for You” from their previous album, Brothers.  Dan Auerbach, lead vocals and incredible guitarist, entrances the crowd with his guitar talent and vocals that sound as if they were just recording in the studio.  During their fifth song in the set, “Dead and Gone,” the screens change and their are various images and videos of different cities and landscapes.  The band also turns it up a notch with various light mixtures during different songs.  The band then surprises the crowd by playing the first few notes of “Strange Times,” one of the band’s earlier hits.  The show closes with their latest single, “Lonely Boy,” and thanks the crowd for coming out.  Once the crowd goes nuts and refuses to stop, the band returns for a three song encore consisting of “Everlasting Light,” where they bust out the disco balls and light up the entire arena with their everlasting light.  They then close the night for good with “She’s Long Gone,” and “I Got Mine.”

The Black Keys’s performance was as unique as their music, and if you are looking for a band that has the perfect soundtrack for your summer, check out the Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys to see if they put that spark in your summer.

3 thoughts on “The Black Keys surpass expectations”

  1. Cool post, Paige! I saw them a few days ago and your recap brings back the show vividly. You hit on a great point about their music being the soundtrack for summer – we’re clearly watching a band on the rise, and this will be their year.

    I actually link to your post where I highlight some video from the gig – I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments there if you’d care to offer your perspective there. Thanks again for sharing this.

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