The Raconteurs at the Greek Theatre September 22, 2008.
Better Than: winning your football pool at work.
Download: "The Switch and The Spur" from The Raconteurs website
The sudden cancellation of the White Stripes tour led me to believe it would be awhile until Jack White (Vocals/Guitars) would resurface. I was shocked when a new Raconteurs album "Consolers of The Lonely" landed on the shelves just a few weeks after it was completed in March. The Raconteurs stopped by the Greek Theatre for a two night stand that quickly explained why they were able to record an album together so rapidly.
The Kills ripped through a solid set that solely consisted of vocals,guitars and a drum machine. Alison Mosshart seductively slithered across the stage wildly whipping her hair about as her sultry voice contrasted well with the scratchy guitars of Jamie Hince. "Last Day of Magic" from their new album Midnight Boom had both Jamie and Alison blending their voices together that played like a soundtrack to a noir film.
The Raconteurs didn't need time to warm up as they came out swinging in the form of the noisy guitar fueled "Consoler of The Lonely" that stunned the audience as Brendan Benson (Guitars/Vocals) led the charge on vocals. It didn't take long for Jack White to station himself behind the keyboards for a delicious bluesy rendition of "Blue Veins" as the stage was ironically lit with a blue cast. I knew Jack was a whiz on guitar, but keyboards too?
The crowd's collective face melted when Jack kicked on his octave pedal for the squealing solo notes during "Intimate Secretary". The band was firing on all cylinders and it seemed as if Brendan's guitar was having a dialogue with Jack's guitar throughout the night as if they were interlocked with ESP. "Level" was searing as the guitar squeals mimicked dualing violins.
Jack took another turn at the keyboards as they slowed things down with the vocal harmonies of "You Don't Understand Me". A real violin made an appearance for the country flavored "Old Enough" as Brendan and Jack shared the vocals duties. Jack sarcastically requested that the audience not make too much noise or they would violating the 95 decibel limit at the Greek.
Another quip from Jack came in the form of introducing "Steady as She Goes" as a hit from 1974. "Salute Your Solution" was the highlight of the night as it was played with reckless abandon and augmented by a earth shaking bass line by Jack Lawrence. At the end of the show, I wasn't surprised that they recorded an album so quickly because it seems like the Raconteurs have been playing together for years.
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Personal Bias: Can you tell I envy Jack White's musical abilities?
Random Detail: Jack White's belt buckle was emblazoned the "R" from the Raconteurs logo.
By The Way: The roadies for the Raconteurs were stylishly dressed in matching shirts and ties with bowler hats.