The Raconteurs: Live at Montreux
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The Raconteurs were formed in 2005 by Jack White of The White Stripes, acclaimed solo artist Brendan Benson and drummer Patrick Keeler and bassist Jack Lawrence from The Greenhornes. Their debut album Broken Boy Soldiers charted at No.2 in the UK and follow up Consolers Of The Lonely went in at No.8. Both albums were also Top 10 in the USA. This performance from Montreux in 2008 was part of the tour in support of their second album. The setlist is split between songs from the two albums with the addition of a cover of the old Charley Jordan track Keep It Clean . This is rough, tough rock n roll with great tunes and even better guitar hooks performed by an outstanding live band. / Track Listing:
1) Consoler Of The Lonely 2) Hold Up 3) You Don t Understand Me 4) Top Yourself 5) Old Enough 6) Keep It Clean 7) Intimate Secretary 8) Level 9) Steady As She Goes 10) The Switch And The Spur 11) Rich Kid Blues 12) Blue Veins 13) Many Shades Of Black 14) Broken Boy Soldier 15) Salute Your Solution 16) Carolina Drama
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I am of the opinion that The Raconteurs is probably the best of Jack White's projects - just a personal leaning/favorite, given the pedigrees of everyone in the band, so I was especially happy to see this come out, given that they only have (basically) two albums out (plus some loose singles & b-sides). This is primo stuff - this show is their 2008 concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival, when they were touring "Consolers of the Lonely". I saw them twice in L.A. on that tour, and this concert is at least as good as the two (stellar) shows that I saw. It's a tight hour and a half consisting of 16 songs from the two albums, and I have to say it's a great set list, containing pretty much the key cuts that most Raconteurs fans will want to hear. The best stuff here is the EPIC smoldering version of "Blue Veins" where they really let the song breathe (compared to the album version - this was a highlight of the live shows I saw), "You Don't Understand Me", "Steady As She Goes" and my personal favorite Raconteurs cut, "Top Yourself" (which Jack has been doing on his solo tour). But truthfully, there is literally not a bad cut here, and the whole band looks like they're having a blast (Brendan sounds great, and Jack L. and Patrick really anchor the sound, plus there are keys/violin too), playing energetically, stretching out a bit and bringing something extra to the live versions that weren't on the records. Start to finish, a great show. I would recommend the blu-ray, which I watched w/ DTS sound on a 100" screen - beautiful crisp hi-def picture, nice editing and good camerawork, all of which will make you think you were there. If you are a fan of Jack White's projects, or the Raconteurs in particular, this is essential, no question about it. Here's hoping he gets some comparable-quality White Stripes or "Blunderbuss" concerts out on Blu-ray.
If you end up liking this disc, check out some of the other Montreux concert discs - the Tori Amos, Mink Deville and Van Morrison ones are standouts, and there are many fine performances now available in the series.
Having said that, this is a great rock show. It's raw and ready and if you like the band, I can't imagine that you wouldn't like this.