by brittany bartley

I will say, The Raconteurs do rock. Maybe I just use them to get my fix in between White Stripes tours, and maybe that’s an unfair way to put it, but they throw a good show nonetheless. The band sold out a three-night stand at Terminal 5 touring with an album that kicks my ass and deserves all the recognition it can get.


I’ll first credit openers The Black Lips, hailing from Atlanta, GA. Who can resist a sweaty energetic performance by a band that can do some respectable shredding accompanied by good ol’ vocal distortion? I’ll admit ashamedly that I had not previously taken the time to get myself acquainted with their music, despite the buzz they have rightfully generated. I was definitely entertained but will say that I could not be entirely amused by a certain band member’s tendency to repeatedly spit into the air and then catch said spit in their mouth as some sort of stage antic. Maybe I missed the boat on that one. Regardless, they probably shouldn’t be overlooked.

The night found its crescendo towards the end of the set so we’ll just cut to the chase:


BROKEN BOY SOLDER….I was waiting for this one. Nick Zinner, of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, could be seen previously during the show nodding along to the sounds of Black Lips and the bulk of the Raconteurs’ set. His suspicious disappearance from the crowd occurred before the show’s encore and the audience was pleasantly greeted with Zinner joining the band onstage for one of the final songs, Broken Boy Soldier. Although the sounds of Benson, White, and Zinner’s guitar’s mated together was a little more than overwhelming, I think the site of these three onstage alone was enough to make everyone feel the need to bow down with unworthiness.

STEADY AS SHE GOES appeared later in the set but attracted some of the most enthusiastic responses from the crowd. – which I suppose was to be expected. Not to be a gawker, but Karen Elson (Jack’s Amazon red-head wife) could be seen dancing and singing erratically to this particular track with her fellow girlfriends. I also found it difficult to control the movement of my body parts to the beat of this song.

BLUE VEINS makes may blood boil. One of the few Raconteurs songs that calls for bluesy jamming that puts everyone in a trance. Jack white made use of some sort of contraption that involved a mirror, microphone, and distortion knobs. I almost crawled out of my skin with his howling. Appropriately, this was saved for the closer before the encore.

CAROLINA DRAMA closed out the set and stands out on the newest album as some sort of dramatic southern epic that had the crowd nearly crawling towards the stage. …At least that’s what I was considering doing from the second floor balcony.

After reading this review, I feel a bit guilty for not crediting Benson and the rest of the band as much as they deserve. Brendan Benson is obviously an essential Raconteurs component and probably had more microphone time than Jack White throughout the show. His voice holds up on all tracks although I once considered him a bit bland. I do wish, however, that a little more energy was put into “Shades of Black,” which is a track off of Consolers of the Lonely that I often envision myself singing to when I’m alone. Bassist Jack Lawrence shows no expression onstage yet is obviously a badass. Drummer Patrick Keeler knows exactly what he’s doing.

I leave with one question, possibly influenced by the fact that I’m female: How did Jack White’s muscles get so big?

The Raconteurs are happy to announce some fall tour dates for North America. A limited number of pre-sale tickets will be available through the pre-sale link at the top of the tour dates page at theraconteurs.com starting tomorrow at 10 am local venue time.

Tickets go on sale to the public on the date and time listed below:

9/16/08 – Roseland Theater (public on sale 6/7 at 10 am)
Portland, OR
w/ The Kills

9/17/08 – Roseland Theater (public on sale 6/7 at 10 am)
Portland, OR
w/ The Kills

9/18/08 – Malkin Bowl @ Stanley Park (public on sale 6/6 at 10 am)
Vancouver, BC
w/ The Kills

9/19/08 – WaMu Theater (public on sale 6/6 at 10 am)
Seattle, WA
w/ The Kills

9/21/08 – Treasure Island Music Festival (already on sale)
San Francisco, CA

9/22/08 – Greek Theater (public on sale 6/7 at 12 pm)
Los Angeles, CA
w/ The Kills

9/24/08 – SDSU Open Air Theater (public on sale 6/6 at 12 pm)
San Diego, CA
w/ The Kills

9/25/08 – Santa Barbara Bowl (public on sale 6/6 at 11 am)
Santa Barbara, CA
w/ The Kills

9/28/08 – Austin City Limits Festival (already on sale)
Austin, TX

9/29/08 – Cannon Center (public on sale 6/6 at 10 am)
Memphis, TN
w/ The Kills

9/30/08 – Ryman Auditorium (public on sale 6/6 at 10 am)
Nashville, TN
w/ The Kills

10/1/08 – The Tabernacle (public on sale 6/6 at 10 am)
Atlanta, GA
w/ The Kills

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