by Matt Kelchner
On Wednesday, the Black Keys’ frontman/guitarist Dan Auerbach brought his side project, the Arcs, to Philadelphia for a performance at the newly opened Fillmore in Fishtown. The group released their debut album, Yours, Dreamily, back in September and Auerbach brought the band to town to put it on full display.
While the Arcs garner much of the attention thanks in part to Auerbach, the band is much more of a cohesive unit rather than an outlet to spotlight Auerbach. Such was true Wednesday night as well. Joining the Arcs (both as an opening act and assistance throughout the headlining set) were the Grammy-nominated Mariachi Flor de Toloache. Altogether, the collective ripped through lengthy string of songs that included much of Yours, Dreamily, b-sides, covers as well as the recently released “Young” from their brand new EP The Arcs vs. The Inventors Vol. 1.
Through the Arcs, Auerbach takes a detour from the garage rock anthems that his other band, the Black Keys, are known for. Fuzzy guitar tones and upbeat, jangly drumming are not completely gone but other musical avenues come into view. Warm and spacey tunes like “Cold Companion” and “Pistol Made Of Bones” brought out the psychedelic side of Auerbach and co. at the Fillmore. When the buzzy guitars needed to be brought back out, the Arcs ripped through songs such as “The Arc”.
When they were not playing their own hits, the Arcs borrowed from the likes of US Bonds (“I Wanna Holler”), The Blue Rondos (“Little Baby”) and Sonny & The Sunsets (“Too Young To Burn”). The end of their huge 15-song set came with the second single from Yours, Dreamily, “Outta My Mind”.
Shortly after walking off stage, the Arcs came back out for an encore that featured the aforementioned “Young” followed by the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao based track “Stay In My Corner”. The night proved that the Arcs are not just another side project from a well known artist but their own unique band capable of skyrocketing in their own right. Time will only tell how high they will get!