Leigh MichaelFriday,14 December 2012

The Snap:

On Monday, the Rolling Stones announced that The Black Keys would be joining their 50th Anniversary Tour with a performance at Newark’s Prudential Center. The band will be joined by Lady Gaga and Bruce Springsteen.

The Black Keys, which was founded by two college dropouts in 2001, has quite literally blossomed in the past year. Since the release of El Camino, the gravelly rumble of Dan Auerbach has graced everything from car commercials to sports casts. Performing with the Rolling Stones, arguably one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time, seems to make a pretty serious statement about where The Black Keys stands in the music industry.

The Download:

Here’s what makes The Black Keys cool. They’ve got a sound, and they own it. Whether I’m listening to something off The Big Come Up or El Camino, I feel like I’m listening to something that they want to play, not something they think they should play.

Undeniably, The Black Keys has gotten more of a commercial presence in the past couple of years (Lonely Boy, anyone?). El Camino also featured a more full bodied sound, which contrasted with the stark “two dudes rocking out in a garage” vibe that they had going in all of the previous albums. But this shift doesn’t seem to be happening at the expense of the band’s quality. At the core, they’re still two high school buddies who like to rock out.

I’m nostalgic about the days before The Black Keys really “made it,” and I would always rather see them in a small venue rather than a stadium (like the Prudential Center, which has a mind-blowing 18,700 seating capacity). But I guess this is a part of being in love with a band. You stick with them through it all, even when fame snaps them up.

One last thing. Despite the fact that you have probably heard “Lonely Boy” every time that you turn on your television, I dare you to watch this video and not dance around in your seat. A least a little.

Hat Tips:

New York Times, The Black Keys, Rolling Stone Magazine, Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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