The Raconteurs

Live Shots

Brendan Benson (l) and Jack White, 
May 3
Brendan Benson (l) and Jack White, May 3 (Photo by Gary Miller)

The Raconteurs

Stubb's, May 2 & 3

"We've never played the same set twice," boasted Jack White to the Chronicle prior to the 2006 Austin City Limits Music Festival. That wasn't saying much then, since the newly formed Raconteurs were still working the kinks out of debut Broken Boy Soldiers, but his claim proved paramount during the band's two-night stand at Stubb's. On Friday, the powdered White frontman appeared complacent in the background, adding squalling electric leads that ruffled the curtain backdrop as troubadour Brendan Benson showcased his range through ballads like "The Switch and the Spur" and "Many Shades of Black," both of which sounded a bit lackluster without the mariachi trumpets on the originals. Whether manning the keys for a plaintive "You Don't Understand Me" or consoling acoustically with the "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" of "Top Yourself," which found auxiliary instrumentalist Mark Watrous on fiddle, the spotlight never wavered from the White Stripes' general, and only when he embraced it during the thunderous "Broken Boy Soldier" and "Store Bought Bones" did the set truly ripple. Immediately apparent from the energy of both nights' opener, "Consoler of the Lonely," the Raconteurs were predictably more comfortable and personable on Saturday. Benson and White established a more dynamic balance through the call-and-response layering of "Level," a righteous reading of Terry Reid's "Rich Kids Blues," and the frantic "Salute Your Solution," seamlessly strung together and accelerated by the Greenhornes' tandem of drummer Patrick Keeler and bassist Jack Lawrence. The highlight both nights came from set and debut LP closer "Blue Veins," White's shrieking solos and plaintive cries of devotion channeling both Page and Plant, especially during Saturday's rendition, which started starkly on piano and progressed to an incinerating meltdown of guitar. Ending each evening's encore with rousing, Dylan-esque narrative "Carolina Drama," the Raconteurs proved to be men of White's word.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Austin Powell
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re playing

July 31, 2020

Record Review: The Young
Record Review: The Young

Aug. 22, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

The Raconteurs

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle