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Black Keys and opening act Arctic Monkeys rock Wells Fargo Center

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It’s always a treat when you go to a concert and you get two excellent performances, from both the opening band and the main attraction. The Mercury Award winning band Arctic Monkeys came on just a little bit before 8:00, delivering a great performance with a variety of songs from their four-album catalog as they support their 2011 release, 'Suck It and See.' 

The band packs a loud of sound out of their four-member setup with Alex Turner, (who chatted with the audience like a happy MC), singing lead vocals while playing lead/rhythm guitar, Jamie Cook (also on rhythm/lead guitar), Nick O'Malley (bass, backing vocals) and Matt Helders (drums, percussion, backing vocals.)   Black Keys photo: Diane Cooney

I first saw a performance of The Black Keys on Live from Abbey Road. Back then – the duo of Dan Auerbach (lead vocals, guitar) and Patrick Carney (drums) looked a bit different. Auerbach sported a bushy beard, plaid shirts, and long hair.

Ok – so they haven’t abandoned the plaid – but they have undergone a bit of a transformation, now with shorter hair, and cool leather jackets. The two had a raw, intense sound, and seemed appreciative on this night that they were finding a larger audience for their music.

Their new album, 'El Camino,' which they produced with Danger Mouse, dropped last December. Auerbach and Carney performed with the support of a few additional musicians. They started promptly around 9:30, kicking off the set with ‘Howlin for You.’  Auerbach and Carney played with the full band for several songs before switching back to their original two-man setup. They returned to the full band for the balance of the show.

While the band was performing, three tiered video screens displayed a variety of patterns and images, a red and black silhouette of Carney pounded away at his drum kit being one of the most memorable. The lights switched up and danced across the audience, and the crowd went nuts. The videos later showed gorgeous landscapes, and sun bleached images of houses.

The band played for a little more than an hour before the audience danced along to their hit ‘Lonely Boy’ that closed the set. The fans lit up the venue with the golden glow of cigarette lighters and the blue stars from cell phones, calling them back to the stage. As they returned for a three-song encore that ended with ‘I Got Mine,’ a very satisfied audience left that night, humming along to their favorite tunes after having seen one of the best shows of 2012. 



Setlist:
Howlin' for You
Next Girl
Run Right Back
Same Old Thing
Dead and Gone
Gold on the Ceiling
Thickfreakness
Girl Is On My Mind
I'll Be Your Man
Your Touch
Little Black Submarines
Money Maker
Strange Times
Chop and Change
Nova Baby
Ten Cent Pistol
Tighten Up
Lonely Boy

Encore:
Everlasting Light
She's Long Gone
I Got Mine

Contact Diane Cooney at dcooney@philly2philly.com

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