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Coachella 2012: Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys tear it up

Soundcheck

It's not as if the Arctic Monkeys' intimate performance Wednesday night at Pomona's 800-capacity (but seemingly undersold) Glass House wasn't loud - my eardrums certainly took a satisfactory beating.But it lacked a certain level of oomph that cropped up during a co-headlining turn at the Hollywood Bowl last October- and again, perhaps at even higher decibels, Friday evening at Coachella.

The set list for this Indio appearance - the Monkeys' first since 2007, when they debuted on the main stage still something of an import sensation- was much the same as Pomona's: kick-started by old favorites like "Brianstorm" and "Still Take You Home," bolstered by darker and heavier forays such as "Pretty Visitors" and "Crying Lightning," then ultimately punctuated with the latest hard-hitters (some of the most commanding tunes in their catalog) like "Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair," "Evil Twin" and "R U Mine?"

You could just tell by the way drummer Matt Helders hammered home the ridiculously complex fills for those new cuts - not to mention the way frontman/lead guitarist Alex Turner, bassist Nick O'Malley and rhythm guitarist Jamie Cook wove a raucous tapestry of muddy distortion and razor-sharp licks - that the band (and its fans) were on a massive music-induced high.

But if AM had a good, borderline-euphoric run through their rowdiest tunes, the barrage of new cuts fromtheir current world-tour mates, the Black Keys,was pure bliss.

Those selections included the insanely catchy "Nova Baby," the swagger-filled groove "Gold on the Ceiling" and the dynamic, pretty-ballad-to-dirty-blues-freakout "Little Black Submarines"- all which featured some of beat-master Patrick Carney's most vehement and fine-tuned drumming.

Thankfully, the BKs also lived up to my sincere hope (as a dedicated old-school fan) that they'd use their enormous main stage blowout (with a far better visual impact than last year's set here) as a chance to expose recent converts to their mightily boisterous back catalog. That they did- at bone-rattling levels- with spirited turns on "Thickfreakness," "I'll Be Your Man" and the most emphatic rendition of "Your Touch" I've heard since before the Keys graduated from close-quarters clubs to immense arenas.

It was that overtly horny and haughty, blues-steeped style that initially sucked me into their music early last decade - and it was a true pleasure to watch Dan & Pat revive it in evidently inspired earnest at one of their biggest festival gigs ever.

Coachella 2012

Watch live-streaming of Coachella on Coachella's YouTube channel.

For more Coachella coverage all weekend (and next!) go toocregister.com/coachella.

Coachella 2012: Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys tear it up is a post from: Soundcheck


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