Pillbox

The Black Keys and mewithoutYou rule the stage

Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys works the audience with his catchy melodies. (credit: Erin Burns | Photo staff) Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys works the audience with his catchy melodies. (credit: Erin Burns | Photo staff)

Over the years, Carnegie Mellon’s Carnival has hosted a plethora of big names. From The Shins in 2005 to last year’s rave-review performance by The New Pornographers, when it comes to the Carnival concert, the Carnegie Mellon Activities Board never fails to deliver. This year was certainly no exception when AB brought mewithoutYou and The Black Keys to our campus.

Although the location of the concert was moved from the CFA Lawn to Wiegand Gym due to impending rain, the Carnival concert crowd was by no means lacking energy. With 250 last-minute tickets being handed out to concertgoers, Wiegand quickly filled with eager fans. The audience, however, was not limited to Carnegie Mellon students — several outsiders, whether they were students from nearby schools or just local fans, rushed to find their means of admittance.

When it was time for the opening band, mewithoutYou, to take the stage, the crowd had grown somewhat impatient, chanting “Let them play!” until the very second the lights dimmed. With that change of lighting, however, came a roar of excitement so strong that one could have mistaken Wiegand Gym for Heinz Hall.

Philadelphia natives Aaron and Michael Weiss formed what would soon become mewithoutYou in the late ’90s, and since then, the band has enjoyed a consistent run of popularity. Having released two EPs and four albums, and having graced the bills of several big-name music festivals, the members of mewithoutYou are no strangers to the spotlight.

Soon after taking the stage here at Carnegie Mellon, the guys of mewithoutYou began a flawless set with classic tracks from their earlier albums as well as some newer tunes. The band sent the Carnegie Mellon crowd into chaos — crowd surfers began exploding from the sea of listeners toward the middle of the crowd. This started what can be considered the closest Carnegie Mellon will ever get to having a mosh pit.

After mewithoutYou came the highly anticipated headliners, The Black Keys. Though any fan of the band would know, this tiny two-person group is often praised for its huge sound. This effect, however, is so much greater when seeing the band perform live — it’s incredible to imagine such a large sound coming from only two men.

Much like the members of mewithoutYou, Dan Auerbach and Partick Carney of The Black Keys have enjoyed a long run with fame. Having released a total of eight albums, including their most recent 2010 release Brothers, the band not only performed its newer songs, but also those popular classics like “Strange Desire” from earlier releases.

Overall, the Carnival concert was yet again a huge success for both the coordinators of the AB Concerts committee and the Carnegie Mellon community. With the reputation of our spring Carnival concert exceeding itself each year, we can only hope for further amazing concerts in the future.