The Black Keys with Modest Mouse

(Originally Published on South Florida Insider)

The Black Keys Kick Off the Second Leg of their Long Awaited Comeback Tour – Review of the Black Keys and Modest Mouse Concert at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida

Story and Photos by: Gleb Barabanov

The Black Keys have always been one of Indie Rock’s Biggest Bands, and when they went on Hiatus in 2015 it was a pretty big loss for fans all over the world. Thankfully the prayers of Black Keys fanatics worldwide have been answered, and the group has come back in a huge way with a new album “Let’s Rock” and a nationwide stadium tour, the second leg of which kicked off this past Tuesday at the prestigious BB&T Arena in Sunrise Florida, home of South Florida favorites The Panthers.

The first band to play were newcomers Shannon and the Clams, who played their first ever arena show that night, for which they paid generous thanks to both the crowd for supporting them and the headlining bands for giving them the opportunity to play on their tour. I had never heard of this group before that night, but they definitely won me over with their excellent live showing and I’m sure they made a lot of new fans that night. Combining elements of punk rock, Doo-Wop, R&B and Classic 60’s music, this delicious musical melting pot of a band led by Singer/Bassist Shannon Shaw delivered an amazing performance, warming up the crowd to a perfect temperature of excitement for the rest of the night’s festivities.

After the opening band departed from the stage and Modest Mouse’s crew finished setting up, Issac Brock sauntered onto the stage (Wearing a Bill Murray-Esque red woolen cap with a flashlight attached to it) and broke into his first song, Tiny Cities Made of Ashes. The rest of Mouse’s 8-person band began to fill the stage, almost every part of the enormous performing platform was filled with people and instruments and you almost wondered how the roadies fit this much stuff on stage. The eclectic light show fit in perfectly with the music, and the setlist was filled with fan favorites from Bury Me With It and Bukowski to Doin’ the Cockroach and Float On. After finishing up their time on stage with Night in the Sun, the group departed from the stage and the wait for the main event began.

Finally, the lights dimmed once again and the crowd began to roar as the anticipation grew to a fever pitch. Out of the darkness, Black Keys bandleaders Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney appeared and took their place front and center of the stage while their backing band played on elevated platforms behind them. They kicked off into their first song, I Got Mine, and the crowd went absolutely bananas. The band sounded incredibly tight and rehearsed, with near album-perfect clarity, and with how well they performed you would never know they were freshly back from a 4 year hiatus. Featuring a fantastic setlist with songs from all throughout their 18 year history, the group mainly showcased their brand new album “Let’s Rock” which was their first release in more than five years. And the stage production was nothing to scoff at either, with a giant banner behind the band dropping after the first three songs to reveal an enormous LED screen and lighting setup flanking the band. After blasting through a few more songs from their newest album and some more of their older fan favorites including Tighten Up and Lonely Boy, the group departed from the stage to screams of “Encore, Encore!”, and after letting the crowd cheer for a bit the group came back out for a massive three song encore. After a riveting setlist of almost two full hours of music, The Black Keys left the stage for the final time, with the crowd still hungry for more. Here’s hoping that it won’t take them another 5 years to bring their fantastic live show back to South Florida!