The Black Keys Steal the Show at EdgeFest22

Sunday afternoon thousands of hipsters, edgeheads, and an entire new breed of young rockers ascended upon the FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, TX for the 22nd annual EdgeFest. Every year 102.1 The Edge puts on a day of music with some of the biggest bands in rock ‘n roll. Sixteen bands played on two stages throughout the day but I was really there to see one band in particular, The Black Keys.

To say I’m a huge Black Keys fan is a massive understatement. Ever since my husband loaded me up with a road trip playlist featuring the band's early recordings a few years back, I've been absolutely enamored with the bluesy duo. So when I heard they were headlining EdgeFest there was no question where I'd be spending my Sunday night.

The festivities started around noon but we didn't make our way into the stadium until around 4pm. Thirty dollars in parking and two 9 dollar beers later (you've gotta love festival markup) we made our way to some pretty cozy seats in the shade. Unfortunately we missed the English Indie Pop duo, The Ting Tings, but walked in just in time to hear their catchy single, That's Not My Name. Of course I heard they were awesome and immediately regretted not making it earlier to catch their entire set. 

Arctic Monkeys - EdgeFest22
The first band we were excited to see was the infectious British group, Arctic Monkeys. I actually saw them a few years ago at the Palladium Ballroom with a very small group of people. The crowd was definitely on hand Sunday afternoon to welcome a wide array of tunes from all four studio albums. Front man Alex Turner was delightful with his thick British accent and rock star swagger...and his guitar playing wasn't half bad too. I love this band. They're fun, unique, and write some pretty damn good tunes.

After the Arctic Monkeys we headed down to the "marketplace" located on the stadium floor that featured men in monkey costumes chasing bananas, the green man, a marine corp booth, and yes, La Bare was on hand for the ladies (gross). Needless to say it was quite an eclectic scene and I was having way too much fun people watching before I remembered I was suppose to be listening to the music.

Cage the Elephant - EdgeFest22
Cage the Elephant graced the big stage following Blue October on the small and I must say, lead singer Matthew Shultz takes the prize for most energetic musician I've seen in a long long time. Running across the stage and headbanging his gorgeous grungy locks the crowd was on fire for these southern rockers. Ain't No Rest for the Wicked and Aberdeen got the crowd surfing going at an all time high and made me thankful for my cozy seats. 

After walking around for a bit we were stopped at a celebrity blockade when Evanescence arrived to perform on the small stage. People screamed, I was pissed I didn't have my camera out...moving on.

Cake - EdgeFest22
 Cake took the stage as the sun was finely going down and more people were making their way into the stadium. Trumpets, instruments I swear I played in grade school, and delicious new tracks permeated through the stadium from the early 90's rockers. Concertgoers of every age were jamming out to tunes that are still playing on the radio. From The Distance to Short Skirt/Long Jacket, John McCrea had the crowd so excited the girls started thinking they were at Mardi Gras, and the music took the place of the beads....

Garbage - EdgeFest22
Winding down the evening and acting as the most interesting opener for the headlining event was another 90's band, Garbage. First of all, Shirley Manson is a badass. Decked out in her signature fire-red hair and high wasted shorts this chic embodies rock n' roll. Never mind the fact that I was immediately transported back to my teenage angst years with songs like Stupid Girl and Only Happy When it Rains, they fit in like they were a new band on the scene. 

Now for the best part of the entire day...

The Black Keys - EdgeFest22
After the stage was set with giant light bulbs and a perfectly placed drum set in the middle of the stage the lights went out and The Black Keys made their entrance. Starting out as a full band Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney set things off with Howlin' for You and Next Girl. After playing around 5 songs from their most recent albums, Brothers and El Camino, Dan and Patrick went back to their roots announcing "is it okay if the two of us just play for a little while". 

The Black Keys - EdgeFest22
Nobody fills a stadium as well as these two childhood friends from Akron, Ohio. Launching into Thickfreakness from their second album it felt like the entire day was a giant tease leading up to a band that's so full of talent, it only takes two individuals to move a crowd of thousands. Next up was the theme to the (sadly) canceled HBO series Hung and a popular track from the Keys first album, The Big Come Up. After satisfying the obsessed fans like myself with some old tunes the full band came back on stage and rocked out to their most popular singles Tighten Up and Lonely Boy. Teenage girls screamed, giant disco balls dropped from the sky, and I was in heaven.

A perfect mixture of new and old the Keys finished with a stellar encore to the dedicated fans that stayed behind with fireworks and a balls to the walls version of I Got Mine. My musical taste buds have been quenched!

Overall EdgeFest was a an eclectic mix of music and people that despite the mid-day heat and expensive concessions was quite enjoyable. Until the next review...Happy Listening!

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