American rock band The Black Keys brought their “Let’s Rock” tour through Vancouver on Sunday night with help from Portland-based band Modest Mouse.
Band front person Isaac Brock lead his modest mass of musicians through an intense, career-spanning set.
The well-oiled troupe built cohesive sonic walls lined with Isaac’s wrenching vocals.
Mid-set they pulled out an old favourite in “Dramamine” from their debut 1996 album This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About. Shouting out those infamous lyrics to a completely captivated arena – “I’ve said what I’d said and you know what I mean / But I still can’t focus on anything / We kiss on the mouth but still cough down our sleeves” – they solidified themselves as the icons they are.
Modest Mouse setlist
The World at Large Interstate 8 Poison the Well Dashboard Pups to Dust Autumn Beds King Rat This Devil’s Workday Dramamine Float On The Tortoise and the Tourist Out of Gas Grey Ice Water Tiny Cities Made of Ashes
The wheel was then firmly grasped by the headliners for the night.
Lead singer and guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney walked out on stage with their cast of supporting musicians in tow.
An enormous illuminated sign lowered behind the performers with four-foot-tall glowing letters spelling out the Ohio-born band’s name, The Black Keys.
The night opened on “I Got Mine” from their 2008 release, Attack & Release. We were off on a sonic journey showcasing the matured auditory prowess of an eighteen-year vintaged twosome surrounded by top-tier touring musicians. Their efforts filled the arena with sounds so sweet they tickled the nape of your neck.
Dan’s guitar work was both visually effortless and emotionally explosive. Each note purposefully manipulated as he coaxed the instrument’s voice through the vintage amp stack behind him. His face seemingly connected to the strings, contorting in unison. Always a pleasure to hear and see.
Patrick was possessed by the music as his pounded at his drums. His eyes combing around the audience with his arms and legs creating a punchy, guttural foundation to every track of the night. He was also explosive but with a more aggressive drive, the occasional smile cracking from his lips. Just a well-polished machine that was doing something that he loves.
The symbiotic musicianship displayed by this group was astounding. Each one a master of their craft coming together to ebb and flow and build these soundscapes.
I walked out of the venue completely content, a great night of music.
I want to say thank you to both bands and their teams behind the scenes. Come back soon and come back often.
The Black Keys setlist
I Got Mine Eagle Birds Tell Me Lies Gold on the Ceiling Fever Next Girl Fire Walk With Me Walk Across the Water Everlasting Light Howlin’ for You 10 A.M. Automatic Your Touch Strange Times Tighten Up Thickfreakness Ten Cent Pistol Little Black Submarines Lonely Boy