For many fans of The Black Keys, the Live In Sydney DVD released by The Black Keys in 2005 is the best live performance video the band has released. For all those who have seen the DVD and have subsequently seen the band live, you might be wondering why there wasn’t a guy in a suit introducing the band to the stage alike the DVD. For Australian fans, however, this introduction was a staple of The Black Keys’ live performances in Australia for many tours.
The Black Keys Fan Lounge recently caught up with the man in the suit. He is, of course, none other than Brian ‘BT’ Taranto of Love Police – an Australian merchandise, design and touring company. Love Police has been the local promoter for the The Black Keys in Australia since the very first tours in 2003.
BT was kind enough to answer a few questions about his presence on stage, a unique quirk to touring in Australia. See below the video.
You’ll see BT in this video (apologies for the quality, it’s only one available showing BT online), doing the announcement right before the band launches into 10 AM Automatic.
How did it come about that you started introducing the band?
I just said to them that I liked the idea that a band was introduced, like the Stones, like Bob Dylan still is etc. They said, go for it. It was the 3rd tour we had done together and we had become quite close.
When there are only two band members, one crew guy and me, there is nothing but getting close. We had to make our own fun.
The version shown in the video is more tame than I remember. I recall you howling a bit more loudly. Did the band egg you on to do it differently each time? Or did it evolve over time?
No, I just made it up as I went along. Sometimes I threw in local references if anything came to mind.
Was it only on the 2005 tour you introduced them?
I pretty much have introduced them almost everytime I have been at a show with them either in Australia or internationally since their first or second tour here [Australia]. Have done it at Bonnaroo, the Fillmore, LA, Austin City Limits, many places around the globe. Not sure what will happen now though. They are a big, big band with a large production, they may have a video or one of Pat’s beloved raelians may take the stage and communicate a message through vibrations.
Was Australia the only place the band used someone to introduce them in this way?
The Black Keys’ recently played live to air on DJ Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 show. Watch the recorded livestream here:
As Zane Lowe pointed out, The Black Keys’ have a long history of live to air performances on BBC Radio. Legendary BBC DJ John Peel was an early supporter and gave the band airtime in 2003. Listen to the Peel Sessions here.