Friday, July 8, 2011
Rant #19 - "July 6th, 2011"
A long time ago, probably sometime in March, I noticed a show coming to Summerfest that I couldn't pass up. Back then, when I approached a few people about going to see Cage the Elephant, Florence + The Machine and The Black Keys, the biggest response I got was, "I've never heard of any of those three bands." Sad. Really sad. Naturally there are a couple folks out there that heeded my advise and listened to the bands, and knew there was no chance they could miss this epic show. And here I am, going to tell you about it.
It started with Cage. And I was mistaken, I had thought Flo was going to open. So as we walked in the venue, we were greeted with 'Aberdeen' from their latest record. They played a solid combo of new stuff and "old" stuff - which dates back just a couple years. They had a pretty solid following there, and had a pretty good crowd singing along with 'Ain't No Rest For The Wicked'. And overall, they put on a MUCH better show than they did back at the Rave opening for STP. I'm not sure the crowd overall cared much about them though, as it was clear by the amount of people present for them versus Flo. It could have just been the timing of it all, but it seemed people had no problem missing Cage and getting a little extra tipsy. I wouldn't say they missed anything super amazing.
Flo came on next. And boy did she come on hard. She strolled out in a long cape type thing, and there were roses set on her mic stand. And I just want to make one comment no her before I go on. If you have ever listened to 'Lungs' in your life, it seemed pretty clear that she can sing. Now, typically when you listen to a recorded record, it sounds outstanding. They polish up the vocal and it sounds like angels singing. Well B Siders, there was no difference record to live. Florence can absolutely, positively sing the sh*t out of any song she wants. She could even manage to make the most primal of screams into the mic sound like the most beautiful thing ever. She played one new song, the only one that wasn't off of her sole album. Seemed clear the biggest pop was for 'Dog Days Are Over', but she had people singing and moving the whole time. She had a pretty large band accompanying her on stage, including the harpist - who did an outstanding job. All in all, the energy she brought forth and the way she got the crowd involved - it was outstanding. When the performance was said and done, I turned to my friend and asked, "What are the odds her show overshadows the Black Keys?" It was that good.
The hype was mounting. People were waiting and waiting to see one band, The Black Keys. And what shocked me was the very different brands of music these three acts brought to the table. We had a ton of Flo fans in front of us, and I didn't think they cared as much about the Keys. Well fans, everyone in that venue cared about the Keys. And boy it showed in the applause and hoopla. They opened with 'Thickfreakness' which was a great start to the show. They proceeded to play another four songs with just the two-some on stage, and sounded like there could have been 100 guys on stage strumming the guitar. And just a side note, the two guys, Pat on the drums - who could EASILY be one of the best drummers in music today. Honestly, check him out. And then Dan on guitar, who is no slouch in his own right. Give him a little more time, people are going to start to notice nationally. Anyways, after the first few songs they brought out a bass man and then a keyboardist. They started to rail through songs off the latest album, 'Brothers'. Seemed to be highlighted by their performance of 'Tighten Up' - but honestly, all the songs had a shocking number of people belting it out along with them. The back crew left again, and they went on with 'I'll Be Your Man' which is the track that tuned me into the Keys. 16 tracks total before they called it quits, only to come back out and do a double encore. In short, this show was PHENOMENAL. The whole thing was, but the Keys were amazing. I would pay my hard earned money anyday to see them again live. It honestly blew me away.
This show seemed to be one of those "once in a lifetime" deals. If those three bands ever perform together again, SEE IT! Pay money, go see it! I promise you won't leave feeling disappointed. And for the love of Pete, if The Black Keys come to a venue near you, see them. If you haven't checked them out yet, then they're still one of the best bands in existence you're not listening to. Now if only my dream show would come true, Eels and Black Keys. I think I need to send an email out to some management teams...
Happy Friday B Siders!