Rolling Stone: The Black Keys Unleash a Blues Riot at Coachella
The Black Keys returned to Coachella with a neighborly hello and operated essentially as they have many times before at the festival, having worked their way up from an obscure Akron, Ohio duo on the smallest stages to a headliner in 2012. The production was bigger, with colorful graphics flashing on the huge screens around them, but the music remained rooted in the band’s commitment to jagged rock and blues. “Let’s get moving,” said singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach, wearing a studded black motorcycle jacket and drilling right into the tortured echo and stutter of “Howlin’ for You,” fleshed out with extra players on bass and heaving organ. But the core duo of Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney frequently stripped things back down to just the two of them, ready to bash through the rawest, hungriest riffs and beats of “Your Touch” and other tributes to swampy blues.
Following the Keys’ set, a swat team of roadies overhauled the main stage to make way for DJ trio Swedish House Mafia, the EDM supergroup consisting of Axwell, Steve Agnello and Sebastian Ingrosso. It wasn’t just the stage setup that changed – pyrotechnics and elaborate, outsized visuals ruled the set – but the entire vibe. Out went the Keys blues riot and in came the blistering beats, courtesy of the group’s synth-driven smashes like “In My Mind” and “Save The World.” Their panoramic visual display, the product of our pristine LCD screens stacked four stories high, was the undoubted highlight.