Stadium rock masters the Black Keys return to show New Zealand their change of pace.

Start tuning your air guitars, rock fans - one of the biggest names in the stadium-rock business is playing two New Zealand tour dates in April.

The Black Keys - Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney - will perform at Vector Arena in Auckland on Sunday, April 19 and Horncastle Arena in Christchurch the night before.

It will be the Akron, Ohio duo's fourth New Zealand tour after previous visits to the King's Arms in 2005, the Powerstation in 2008 and sold-out stadium shows in Auckland and Wellington in 2012.

Of that Vector Arena show, Herald reviewer Scott Kara said it was full of "distortion, passion and intensity". "Next stop, total world domination," he said.


The shows will also be The Black Keys' first in New Zealand since they released their eighth album Turn Blue in May, a record TimeOut said was a chance for the duo to "pause for breath and reflect a little".

Turn Blue's mellow atmosphere - showcased in synthesiser-powered first single Fever - may have shocked longtime fans, who were probably expecting them to capitalise on the success of their hit 2011 album El Camino, and rowdy singles Gold on the Ceiling and Lonely Boy.

But it was further proof that the two have come a long way since their raucous garage-rock beginnings on albums like Thickfreakness (2003) and Rubber Factory (2004). It was on 2008's Attack & Release that they settled on a more tuneful sound, nailing it on their Grammy-winning breakthrough Brothers (2010).

Despite Turn Blue's change of pace, their live shows have lost none of the intensity they're known for, according to recent concert reviews.

Opening for The Black Keys' New Zealand shows will be British trio Band of Skulls, a band that closely resembles that early Black Keys sound. Tickets go on sale September 18. A pre-sale starts on September 16.