The rapturous reviews of their latest album 'El Camino' are all in, Coachella has been headlined, Grammys have been collected, Madison Square Garden sold out in 15 minutes and it now seems perfectly clear.
The Black Keys are the biggest rock band on the planet right now. No stadium can hold 'em, but Vector Arena and The TSB Bank Arena will try their level best in November.
It's a long way from their modest beginnings as a garage rock band in Akron, Ohio in 2001 but here they are, seven albums later, making the jump to hyperspace. Selling out festivals and arenas and shifting huge amounts of what used to be called 'units', all while keeping their musical integrity firmly intact.
The breakthrough came in 2010 upon the release of their sixth album 'Brothers'. Steeped in the turmoil of broken marriages and busted friendships, its instantly iconic cover alone was enough to warrant a place in the pantheon of classic rock albums, but it was the music therein that became a statement of intent and a signpost of what was to come. The band's 21st century white boy blues was further expanded on their critically lauded late-2011 album 'El Camino', which became an instant commercial hit. Thus far 2012 has been a year of highs for the band - most recently they co-headlined the Coachella festival with Radiohead, Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg.
To say that their return to New Zealand is highly anticipated is a vast understatement. We haven't seen them for a few years and some of the grit of their early albums has been replaced by a more glam sensibility, but not much else has changed. It's still the unassuming duo of Dan (Auerbach - vocals/guitar) and Patrick (Carney - drums) playing like they did in the clubs and bars of Akron, albeit this time with the mother of all light shows.