LIVE AT MONTREUX 2008 The Raconteurs (Eagle Vision) 4/5
A feral, savage rock & roll experience- not something you’d expect at the venerable jazz & blues festival, but that’s exactly what The Raconteurs gave them.
The Raconteurs, for the 2 or 3 that don’t know, are ex-White Stripes leader Jack White and a bunch of his pre-fame chums. Both of their albums- Broken boy Soldiers and Consolers of The Lonely charted top ten in the U.S., as does most everything White touches. Along with solo artist Brendan Benson plus drummer Patrick Keeler and bassist Jack Lawrence of The Greenhornes (chosen by White to back Loretta Lynn on the magnificent Van Lear Rose) jack White combines metal fury, punk attitude and the blues to make a noise more exciting than I expected.
Shot in high def as the band toured behind their second album, this set is molten hot. It’s important to note that, far from a Jack White vanity project, this is a band. Yeah steps up to the mic a lot, but then so does Benson who is, frankly, the better singer.
It’s a high energy performance, and the set list is split between tracks from each of their two albums, along with covers of Terry Reid’s Rich Kid Blues and the old Charlie Jordan track Keep It Clean. The audience was clearly eating up each note, jumping up and down in sheer excitement. Surprisingly (or not) The Raconteurs wasted very little time addressing the audience, preferring to let the music do the talking. Nary a shout of “let me see you clap your hands” was heard on the night- it was kinda refreshing.
I prefer Jack White in a band situation (White Stripes aside) and hope that The Raconteurs will be back at some point for more. I love White’s new solo album, but I can definitely do with some more of this blues powered rock noise- OH yeah.
TOP TRACKS: Hold Up, Rich Kid Blues, You Don’t Understand Me