The Black Keys and Modest Mouse
The Let’s Rock tour marks the return of the Black Keys, the no-frills guitar-and-drums duo who appeared to be the future of rock and roll when they made their first splash in 2010 with the inescapable “Tighten Up” single, which turned up in countless movies, TV shows, commercials, and bar band setlists. Their emergence was frequently cited as the vanguard of garage rock revival, at least if the majority of critics and pundits were to be believed, though the trend pretty much seemed to sputter as the guitar was increasingly abandoned, becoming one of the most rarely heard instruments in modern pop music.
The guitar’s downfall seemed to (coincidentally?) coincide with the disappearance of the Black Keys. After several successful releases and tours, they took some time off beginning in 2015, while Dan Auerbach built up a list of production credits, providing more pop-oriented artists like Lana Del with a harder edge rock sound that benefitted pretty much everyone he’s so far sprinkled his magic dust upon. Patrick Carney produced Michelle Branch’s comeback album (resulting in their engagement) and did the theme music for the Netflix’s BoJack Horseman cartoon, while five years meandered on by with no new music from the Black Keys. That changed earlier this month with the release of their single “Lo/Hi,” said to preview an upcoming release due sometime before they take the Pechanga Arena stage on November 17. The bill includes Modest Mouse, whose first new song since 2015 drops this week, “Poison the Well,” as well as Shannon & the Clams.