Life in KC

The Big Show: The Arcs at Liberty Hall

The Arcs, featuring Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys
The Arcs, featuring Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys Richard Swift

Tuesday, April 26, at Liberty Hall

Dan Auerbach has good timing. Just as the music of his enormously successful blues-rock duo the Black Keys was beginning to get stale, he embarked on a tangential endeavor last year as the leader of the Arcs.

“Yours, Dreamily,” the Arcs’ stunning debut album, employs the tricks Auerbach picked up as the producer of sessions by artists including Ray LaMontagne. The Arcs project is one of the most mind-blowing headphone albums of 2015.

As the album opens, a voice intones that “you may feel now a pleasant, tingling sensation.” A subsequent greeting — “good morning, children, welcome to school” — might be directed at aspiring music producers. Auerbach warns that mastering the craft comes at a price. He sings that “pushing buttons now is all that keeps me sane” on “Outta My Mind.”

The result of Auerbach’s handiwork is an immaculately recorded form of alternative R&B that’s interspersed with delightful psychedelic flourishes. Rather than containing the filthy bite of the Black Keys, the Arcs offer gentle nuzzles.

While Auerbach won’t be able to rely on his production wizardry at Liberty Hall on Tuesday, he has at least one impressive trick up his sleeve. After entertaining the audience as the opening act, a few members of the all-female mariachi band Mariachi Flor de Toloache will supplement Auerbach’s vocals during the Arcs’ headlining appearance.

Tickets are $35 and $45 in advance through libertyhall.net.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

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