Rock & Pop

The Black Keys

When: Fri., May 4, 8 p.m. 2012

Through all of their commercials, cameos, career blemishes and chart success, it's still hard to deny that The Black Keys remain one of the most consistent straightforward rock acts out today. For the most part, the Akron, Ohio power duo is still making the same gritty, rhythm'n' blues-infused songs that it was minting ten years ago. The group's sound is both disaffected and red-blooded, its light chauvinism softened through a fuzzy vintage filter. After Brothers came out in 2010 and secured The Black Keys a high spot (#2) on the billboard charts, singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney embraced success wholeheartedly. El Camino is their newest album and bears the same marks of the previous one; namely, more catchy hooks and the screwed-down production touches of Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton. Their presence in a live setting is thrilling: Auerbach is no virtuoso but he still manages to stun crowds with his gruff delivery, while working seamlessly with longtime friend Carney. Arctic Monkeys will open at Oracle Arena (7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland) on Friday, May 4 at 8 p.m., $49.50, ApeConcerts.com

Will Butler

Price: $49.50

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