This is a guest post by Black Keys fan, Merlyn. Merlyn will be making regular contributions to the site in 2009
There is a lot of hype around New Years Eve but the preliminary build up around this year was enough to give anyone shivers.
I remember thinking on my down to the Pyramid Rock Festival at Phillip Island, near Melbourne, Australia: “Can it actually be better than last years?”. Well, my question was not only answered, but sonically aired out, forgotten and thrown into the trash.
By whom you say? By The Black Keys. Which is funny because there is only so much to expect from 2 guys right? Wrong! Expectations become a thing of the past when these two take their instruments and take to repeatedly stomping and hollering.
You can tell these two just wanna rock, roll, scream and even stroll. Hell, they even pay a guy to introduce them. They say a quick “Hello…We are the Black Keys” and get to the groovin’. This is one band to see live let alone bring in the New Year with. It feels like a Greatest Hits show or something because the journey just didnt stop.
Working their way through a few crowd favorites like “10am Automatic”, “Thickfreakness” and the old blues traditional “Stack Shot Billy”. With an album catalogue as good as The Big Come Up, Rubber Factory and Magic Potion, you tend to forget that they just let their 5th album drop. Until, and this was a suprise to me, they start playing “Pyschotic Girl” to 7500 people who wanna see the new year. Mind blowing… Even the crowd controllers up front were singing along.
The ‘Keys were quickly told to wind up and as we count down into the new year, some what of a magic moment for me as I don’t think music would sound the same to me if it weren’t for the ‘Keys.
“HAPPY NEW YEAR!” – everyone screams and shouts till we’re all hugging and kissing. The crowd is a sea of miasmic euphoria. The ‘Keys kick back in and play more favorites – “Till I get my Way”, “Girl is on my Mind” and “I Got Mine”.
“Goodnight everybody – see you next year”, Dan hollers into the mic. They disappear to make way for Cut Copy. I make a hurried dash to the hill to receive a few happy new years phone calls. Along the way are some stoked New Years revellers in their moment of triumphant wealth of happiness and good company. Seems like the Black Keys were tailor made for such an event.
What better way to represent a festival experience than with a fuzzy camera phone image of the ‘Keys on stage.