Monday, July 11, 2011

Thoughts on tomorrow's "Black Keys/Cage the Elephant" concert

The Black Keys and Cage the Elephant will be performing at the John Labatt Centre on July 12th, 2011.

Rock and roll is dying -- that is a fact.

Say what you want about today's new music, but I hate it. I was raised on rock, thanks in part to my Uncle Harry and his never-ending collection of the Allman Brothers and the Tragically Hip. Whenever I ride in the car with my dad, the dial is on 103.9 FM, a classic rock based station. While studying, my playlist includes The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Jimi Hendrix, the Doobie Brothers, Led Zeppelin, and a bit of Trooper.

I may sound 40 years my senior, but today's "music" is filled with recycled lyrics, reliance on four chords, terrible music videos, and unnecessary emphasis on swag. Seldom do I hear a new song released that involves a guitar, let alone a voice that doesn't involve autotune.

*NOTE: If you constantly say the word "Swag", you're a loser. That's not even trying to be mean, you're a loser. Stop wearing your fucking clothing line that looks like it came Straight Outta Compton and put on some jeans and a tee. Christ on a stick.*

About a year ago, I started downloading full albums and going through each track. While it was mostly some old greats ("Born in the USA" by the Boss, for example), a few new ones caught my eye -- one of these was "Brothers" by the Black Keys. Doing a once-over of the album, I realized that these guys kicked some serious ass. I immediately searched the band on Youtube and discovered that I knew about their music all along, but I never knew it was them.

Okay, that sounded confusing, let me try to explain.

In case you've been living under a rock all these years, you have more than likely heard at least a sample of a Black Keys tune, you just didn't know it. The band has had their music used for hundreds of television shows, movies, video games, and commercials. Their distinct guitar and drum rhythms separate them from other rock bands today, making them easily my top choice for the best rock band out there today.

Once I really started listening to them, my buddy Carter told me that he could get us tickets for an upcoming concert at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario. Incredibly pumped, we bought them and waited patiently, month by month, passing by slower than Jason Alison in the neutral zone.

And now it has finally arrived. Tomorrow night, infront of a sellout crowd, the Black Keys will be performing at the JLC. But they're not alone...

Cage the Elephant, a band that I recently started listening to, (their single "Shake me Down" would be my pick for video of the year) who has grown on me like moles on Al Davis' grill, will be opening for the show. I haven't dived into their discography that much, but if the rest of their stuff is anything like their album "Thank You, Happy Birthday", I'll be happy. Carter is a bigger fan of them than the Black Keys, saying that he would have bought tickets to the show if it was just them performing, and that the Keys were just an added bonus.

Also attending the show with us is Josh, Ben, and Thomas. Josh and Ben are in a band together called "The Wired" (check them out, they also kick ass), with Josh on guitar and vocals, while Ben on keyboard. Thomas, who we call "TK", is actually the guy who first got me on the Black Keys. I am forever grateful, TK.

Anyway, this won't be one of my 2000 word posts where I ramble about nothing, but I will tell you this -- I have never looked this forward to a concert in my life. In total, I've been to four: The Tragically Hip, Nickleback, INXS, and Sum 41. They all kicked ass, but hopefully this one jumps on top.

1 comment :

  1. I agree with what you have to say. There is a lot of soul-less music being shoved in our faces by the media. Still, it is a beauty that a band like these guys can rise to the top in this day and age. There are two other bands that I have recently discovered through some soulful friends that are driving me crazy. You may want to check out: The Pack A.D. and The Bloody Hollies. Both in the same vein, both kick some serious ass. I hope they play the SF bay are soon. Keep writing, Booty