The Raconteurs @ the Greek 9/22/08

As published by LA Record:

Southern flavored ’70s-style rock was the order of the evening when the Raconteurs played the Greek last Monday, the first of their pair of shows at the outdoor hilltop venue. Sitting underneath the stars on the first autumn night of the year with gritty, rootsy blues rock wafting through the air, it felt like we’d been transported to the band’s home base of Nashville — all that was missing was a bonfire. (Though probably not the best idea in the tinder town that is Griffith Park.) Jack White, the undeniable star of the band, has a stage presence so big it’s amazing anyone else can share the same space. Fellow axeman Brendan Benson’s reserved nature served as a perfect complement to White’s blistering guitar, which didn’t spend too much time apart from the pitch shifter and “talking guitar” distortion pedals. The band’s other half — bass- and banjo-wielding Jack Lawrence and drummer Patrick Keeler, both members of garage revivalists the Greenhornes — held their own along with newcomer Mark Watrous taking over on keys and fiddle as member number five on this tour. The band was tight and the sound was perfect — kept at an ear-friendly 95 decibels by decree of the Greek — and though many of the tunes off the band’s latest release Consolers of the Lonely sound pretty much the same, that sameness was well enjoyed when infused with the energy of a live performance. When introducing “Steady, As She Goes,” White jested that the song “was a big hit for us in 1974.” If I hadn’t known better, I wouldn’t have got the joke. The band would be right at home amidst the many blues-tinged rock groups splashed on the cover of Rolling Stone that year.

—Linda Rapka

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