There are no dancing actors/security guards , precocious street-fighting children or cameos by “Sir” Todd Bridges in the Black Keys’ new “Gold on the Ceiling” video. But don’t let their absences sway you — in a lot of ways, this was the video the Keys were born to make.
The clip, which premiered Monday night (February 6) on MTV, features only the Black Keys (and various members of their road team) doing what they do best: playing live, in gloriously gritty fashion. It’s not only a nod to their roots — for close to a decade, they hammered out gigs (and miles) aboard a rusty van — but it’s a powerful reminder to their detractors that they are, first and foremost, a positively killer live act.
Of course, it was also probably a matter of necessity. The Black Keys are rather busy these days, what with their smash album and world tour, so shooting a live video (in part during their MTV Hive-sponsored El Camino release party at New York’s Webster Hall) undoubtedly made their management happy, but you get the feeling that Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney probably delighted in making a concert clip. After all, it fits rather nicely with their anachronistic ways. Of all the monster rock acts currently lumbering, the Black Keys seem the most natural fit for a live video. No bells or whistles, no special effects, just a band, a stage and some grainy footage. It’s easy.
So while “Gold” may be lacking in all those things (not to mention odd, inbox-baiting cameos), it is by no means a lesser video. If anything, it represents everything that makes the Black Keys the band they are — hard-charging, unpolished and seemingly not-of-this-era, indebted to their past yet still pushing forward and always determined to do things on their own terms. Big-selling album and high-profile second single be damned, the Black Keys just want to do it live and do it loud. It’s what got them here, after all.
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