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Black Keys

The Black Keys don't change much in move to arena shows

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It didn't take the Black Keys long to sell out its concert this weekend at Chaifetz Arena, a scenario the Nashville, Tenn.-based duo has seen repeated across the country.

It's a mighty big payoff for a band that came up the old-fashioned way, playing dives and clubs and gaining underground and indie credibility on the way to becoming arena headliners.

"It's all pretty crazy," says Dan Auerbach, who, with Patrick Carney, makes up the act that came out of Akron, Ohio. "We've been taking it in stride.

"Being at this level now is just a natural progression. There's a lot of factors — years of touring, success on the radio, getting some nice placement on TV and in the movies and stuff like that. It's all that stuff combined. It's been pretty amazing, and a lot of fun."

Meeting the demands of an arena tour didn't change the Black Keys, fans will notice. In fact, the only difference is a bigger crew now.

"We don't change what we do," Auerbach says. "We still play the same music we would play in a small club, and we play the same way."

The pair are touring behind their latest album, "El Camino," a great back-to-basics blast that's the follow-up to 2010's "Brothers." Auerbach says the only goal in making the new record was just to enjoy themselves.

"We're lucky we get to do what we do for a living," he says. "It was fun, and we had a good time. But sometimes the creative process was frustrating. Anytime you try to create or build something, you always run into little roadblocks.

"We don't talk about what we're going to do going into the studio. We don't do demos. We figure out what it will be like after we record a couple of songs. 'Dead and Gone' is the first song we did."

"El Camino" was co-produced by Danger Mouse and the band.

"We are fond of him and have respect for him," Auerbach says. "He's not afraid to give his opinion. We've been friends with him for five years now, so we're buddies first and foremost."

"El Camino," Auerbach says, is "poppier" than "Brothers."

"It's more rock 'n' roll," he says. —"'Brothers' is more soul and funk. So the albums are very different. But they also have their similarities."

The music of "El Camino" will play well in an arena but is suited for home listening, too. "This music will kick ass in a little room," he says.


The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys

When 8 p.m. Friday • Where Chaifetz Arena • How much Sold out • More info MetroTix

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The Blender by Kevin C. Johnson

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Although their first album came out 10 years ago, the prolific Black Keys spent eight years flying under the radar in indie and alt-rock skies.

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