Thursday, April 26, 2012

Black Keys & Arctic Monkey's Review Afterglow

Both Bluesy and British

I'll read it to you above

This Friday the 27th at 8pm, The Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys will play a sold out show at the Chaifetz Arena. The two bands will be traveling from Austin, Texas to our historically blues friendly town of St. Louis on the day before the show. They are currently in a US tour together that will end in the middle of May. The Black Keys will then hop the pond to start a European tour as the Arctic Monkeys continue in a US based direction. It's strange to note that both bands will travel from packed stadium to packed stadium charging between forty and fifty dollars and call themselves indie rock. It's a sign that the term alternative rock has been replaced by the term indie rock. Once more, the terms are becoming about equally vague.
The Black Keys are currently riding high on their El Camino album which made it to second highest spot on Billboard's top 200 list. El Camino was produced by the Danger Mouse, Grammy producer of the year in 2011. He also produced The Grey Album: a mash-up album that combines The Beatles' White Album with Jay Z's Black Album. The Grey Album gained notoriety when EMI attempted to halt distribution while Jay-Z and Paul McCartney had no problem with the project. The Grey Album was then released to protest the practices of major labels for free on a day dubbed Grey Tuesday. Ironically, The Black Keys are under a label called V2 which is owned by EMI.
The Arctic Monkeys released a purple 7" on Record Store Day last Saturday the 21st. Their newest full album release, Suck It and See, made it to number one on British charts and 14 on Billboard's top 200. The Arctic Monkey's sound has changed a great deal in their last two albums. Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not and Favourite Worst Nightmare are both witty and edgy with a dancable beat. There most recent, Humbug and Suck It and See, are atmospheric, mellow, deadened when compared the the first two. Early Arctic Monkeys music is characterized by an almost constant use of British slang, their new albums are strikingly without that slang. The Arctic Monkeys have moved from energy packed beginnings and perhaps found a larger audience for their music.
The Black Keys are seven albums into a ten year career. Their early albums are filled with raw blues rock sound and covers of their favorite blues songs. Around the time of their fifth album, Attack & Release, they started to come into a sound that was more their own. Their sound moves freely from blues-y, folksy, and psychedelic tones. Brothers and El Camino show a really solid and unique sound starting to emerge.
If this week's show is anything like other shows this year, the Arctic Monkeys are great openers and will play songs that were well received in the US and then get into there newer catalog. The Black Keys will rock through their catalog emphasizing their more recent hits. There stage effects will be awesome, but I won't ruin them here.
It's an unwritten rule of concerts that you don't listen to the music of a band you're driving to see. However, this concert is at the Chaifetz Arena, so you will probably be walking. Nevertheless, don't listen to these songs on your phone on the way to the concert. Listen to From the Ritz to the Rubble from Arctic Monkeys early stuff and Don't Sit Down Because I've Moved Your Chair from their most recent album. Listen to Busted from The Black Keys first album to experience their early grit and grime. Watch the music video to Lonely Boy from El Camino to get some dancing tips from some old guy.

For the edited version that went to the SLU's U News go here -  At Chaifetz, The Black Keys are ‘Howlin’ for You’

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