By Tori Bedford and Jason Turesky
NEWPORT, RI–The Arcs played to a mostly seated crowed as the last performance of the day at Newport’s quad stage. Their fuzz filled, psychedelia-toned music seemed to be at odds with the relaxed audience. The Black Keys front man, Dan Auerbach, started the band as a side project last year.
After only one album and some subsequent touring, The Arcs already feels as if they have been playing together for years. Auerbach’s signature dirty blues guitar riffs sound richer when backed by a full band rather than just by his Black Keys partner and drummer Patrick Carney.
Highlights of their set included the hallucinatory “Put A Flower In Your Pocket” and the bouncy bass tune “Out Of My Mind,” both singles off their album, Yours, Dreamily. Throughout the show, the band was accompanied by three mariachi dressed backup singers, adding a nice mix of female harmonies and the sounds of a Tijuana brass band.
At this point in his career, Auerbach is used to putting out enough energy for an arena sized audience to feel like they got their money’s worth. Seeing him along with the Arcs in such a small and almost intimate setting was an amazing way to see up close the enthusiasm and vitality Auerbach throws into his music.