The Black Keys are really turning it up on their current world tour. Over the summer, the band hit the worldwide festival circuit with stops at the Hangout Music Festival (U.S.), Open Air Festival (Switzerland), Rock In Roma (Italy), and many more. Now, they are several dates into their Turn Blue World Tour and they kept the wheels turning last night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The duo are touring in support of their new album Turn Blue which came out on May 13. Once again, they’ve brought along their good friends Cage The Elephant, who are one of the most dynamic live bands out there right now.
Cage The Elephant kicked off the evening’s festivities with an electrifying set. On merely the second song, the hard-rocking “In One Ear”, frontman Matt Shultz was already diving into the crowd, surfing and singing. Just over half the band’s set came from their latest studio effort Melophobia. Aberdeen, Back Against The Wall, Shake Me Down, and their signature smash “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked.” They wrapped things up with “Come a Little Closer”, which was the first single from their latest LP. The band had one hell of a summer on tour and their momentum is more then carrying on. New(ish) guitarist and Philly native Nick Bockwrath made his second homecoming appearance with the band since their performance at the Radio 104.5 Birthday Show back in May in Camden, NJ. Bockwrath was greeted with an even bigger ovation this time around at the arena in South Philly. The band was firing on all cylinders and once again proved why they are a force to be reckoned with on stage.
And then, it was Dan and Patrick’s turn. A gorgeous vintage red theater curtain was surrounded by LED screens and a spectacular lighting rig. The Black Keys took the stage opening, with “Dead and Gone.” Next, they tore into their dirty groove rocker “Next Girl.” From there, the band proceeded to play a balanced set of hits and cuts from their newest record. Gems like “Gold On The Ceiling”, “Howlin’ For You”, “Money Maker”, “Lonely Boy”, “Your Touch”, “Tighten Up”, and others were more than well-received by the capacity crowd. Also mixed in was an upbeat cover of Edwyn Collins‘ hit “A Girl Like You.” They closed out the evening with a three-track encore that concluded with “Little Black Submarines.” The Black Keys perhaps are perhaps even better live than on record. Eccentric yet simple, the band oozes bluesiness with their stripped-down, gutsy, vintage-sounding rock ‘n’ roll. Once again, the boys are enjoying success as one of the top acts in the world.
For their new album, The Black Keys once again partnered with renowned producer Danger Mouse, and longtime art director Michael Carney for the album cover. Michael won the Grammy Award for Best Recording Package in 2011 for The Black Keys album Brothers. The new disc is the follow-up to the band’s 2011 monster LP, El Camino. The album hit #2 on the Billboard Top 200, and garnered the band three Grammy Awards – Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for “Lonely Boy” and Best Rock Album for El Camino. In 2012, the band released a six-song EP of live studio recordings from December 2011. The songs were recorded from practice session in preparation for their 2011-2012 tour. The 6-song EP, titled Tour Rehearsal Tapes, featured four songs the multi-platinum El Camino, and two songs from their 2010 Grammy Award-winning album Brothers.
The Black Keys have been monsters of rock over the last few years. Their 2010 album, Brothers, was certified platinum and garnered the band three Grammy Awards. The follow-up, El Camino, hit #2 on the Billboard Top 200 in 2012. At the 2012 MTV Movie Awards, the Keys were joined on-stage by actor Johnny Depp for a version of “Gold On The Ceiling” after he accepted his MTV Generation Award from Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith. In addition to their tour, the band played Firefly Music Festival, Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Global Festival in New York. This past January, the band played a special Super Bowl XLVII show at the legendary Roseland Ballroom in New York.
Cage The Elephant hail from Bowling Green, KY. The band formed in 2006 and broke into the mainstream two years later with their debut self-titled LP. The disc included their smash hit “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” and landed on the Billboard Top 200 chart at #67. Over the next few years, the band toured with the likes of Stone Temple Pilots, Manchester Orchestra, and Silversun Pickups. They landed slots at festivals like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and others. In 2011 the band released their sophomore effort Thank You, Happy Birthday. The disc debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 and the album’s first single “Shake Me Down” shot to #1 on the rock songs chart. Cage The Elephant released their third album Melophobia last October. Last fall, the band played a handful of U.S. arena dates with Muse. They were a featured act at Firefly Music Festival in Dover, DE in June and Lollapalooza in Chicago in August. – by Matt Bishop