By: Anand Harsh
When I was sobbing furiously, snot pouring onto the unforgiving ivory, as a six-year-old kid being forced to practice piano while everyone else was outside playing, I never imagined that this torturous task could lead to a wealth of adulation down the road. Like an idiot, I gave up before I got any good. No one ever told me keys could be cool.
These guys never gave up. They've got 88 keys and they know how to use them. Whether they're classically trained, or picked it up through years of hard work, the synthesizer wizards who are able to bust out some impressive runs on stage continue to blow our minds every time we see them.
A lot of producers use keyboards in the studio, but not all of them take their talents to the live show. And those in live electronic acts who have the chops to compete in a computerized world, here's our tip of the hat to you. Sorry if you shared the same agonizing piano lessons as a child, but to those who persevered and got to be the best of the best: kudos.
10. Mickey Kellerman
I've been watching Mickey Kellerman shoot synth fire from speakers for more than a decade, now. The Future Rock keys wizard is the heart and soul of that band, building melodies on top of Felix Moreno and Darren Heitz's battery in an orgy of live electro explosions. For those FRock fans out there, take a listen to our fun chat from a couple years back.
9. Dan Shaw
Doesn't take an expert to know Dan Shaw killed it at The Werk Out this past weekend. The Werks' wouldn't werk without keys, and Shaw holds it down like Hollingsworth. Bluesy runs and fun jam progressions are par for the course. The guy can do it all. We're psyched to see him settle in even further with the band on the four-piece's big fall tour with Zoogma!
8. Kill Paris
True to his name, everytime we see Kill Paris, he kills it. Corey Baker is a phenomenal producer, and a kickass remixer, but at the heart of it all are his skills on keys. Everytime he whips out his keytar, it makes us grin like phans watching Page McConnell shred "Frankenstein." You think Bassnectar would take some slouch out on fall tour?
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