By Tyler Sterling
Formally introduced by none other than Jack White’s mother, The Raconteurs took the stage for their first performance in nearly a decade to celebrate ten prolific years since the founding of Third Man Records. A lot has changed in a decade. Jack White’s musical laboratory has pushed genre limits, reenergized the vinyl industry, and created a refuge for the creatively restless. As the first few notes of “Counselors of the Lonely” were plucked, the crowd standing just outside of the record label’s headquarters erupted into a roaring applause. The towering Nashville skyline seemed to look approving upon the stage from a distance.
The quartet quickly picked up where they left off years ago—tearing through fan favorites like “Salute Your Solution,” “Level,” and “Steady as She Goes.” Brendan Benson and Jack White traded off guitar chops and lead vocals while Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler contained the chaos in organized rhythm. The long hiatus clearly didn’t have an effect on their chemistry.
Things heated up in a major way during “Blue Veins,” a song that is instrumentally spaced out, giving Jack White room to show off his guitar virtuosity and impassioned vocal attacks. Before the last verse, he delivered a finger blurring solo that could make even the most emotionally-reserved Nashville hipsters nod their heads.
The Raconteurs teased several new songs that will appear on their upcoming album, Help Us Stranger. The crowd was treated to live debuts of “Sunday Driver,” “Help Me Stranger,” and “Now That You’re Gone.” As with their past two albums, there were unique guitar tones, catchy arrangements and sharp lyrics.
To end a career spanning set, they glided through an encore performance of the surreal country ballad, “Carolina Drama.” Once the band bowed to the cheering audience, Jack White grabbed the microphone and humbly thanked everyone for the support over the years. It’s no coincidence that since Third Man Records opened in 2009, Nashville has become even more of a creative epicenter for rock, country and the blues. This is shown by the caliber of bands—across genres—that are signed to the label. Earlier in the day, artists such as Margo Price, Alison Mosshart (The Kills & Dead Weather), Lillie Mae, The Gories, and more played in support of the label that has continued to put its artists first. It’s safe to say that music fans have much to look forward to by The Raconteurs and other Third Man Records’ artists in the years to come.
The Raconteurs just announced a massive tour this year, be sure to catch them on the road!
04/16 – Auckland, NZ @ Powerstation
04/18 – Melbourne, AU @ Regent Theatre
04/20 – Milsons Point, AU @ Big Top Sydney
04/22 – Byron Bay, AU @ Bluesfest Byron Bay
04/24 – Minato City, JP @ Akasaka Blitz
04/25 – Minato City, JP @ Akasaka Blitz
05/25 – London, UK @ All Points East
05/26 – Paris, FR @ L’Olympia
05/27 – Brussels, BE @ Cirque Royal
05/28 – Cologne, DE @ E-Werk
05/30 – Berlin, DE @ Verti Music Hall
05/31 – Kværndrup, DK @ Heartland Festival
06/01 – Warsaw, PL @ Orange Warsaw Festival
06/02 – Hilvarenbeek, NL @ Best Kept Secret Festival
07/12 – Detroit, MI @ Masonic Temple Theatre
07/14 – Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom
07/15 – Minneapolis, MN @ Armory
07/18 – Seattle, WA @ WaMu Theater at CenturyLink Field Events Center
07/19 – Vancouver, BC @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre
07/21 – Troutdale, OR @ Edgefield
07/23 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
07/26 – Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre
07/27 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl
07/28 – San Diego, CA @ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre
08/10 – Lexington, KY @ Railbird Festival
08/11 – Knoxville, TN @ Knoxville Civic Auditorium
08/12 – Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room at Old National Centre
08/13 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
08/15 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre
08/16 – Watkins Glen, NY @ Woodstock 50
08/17 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem
08/18 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
08/20 – Columbia, SC @ Township Auditorium
08/21 – Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
08/22 – Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
08/29 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
08/30 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
09/03 – Raleigh, NC @ Red Hat Amphitheater
09/06 – New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom
09/07 – Brooklyn, NY @ Kings Theatre
09/09 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues
09/12 – Toronto, ON @ Sony Centre
09/13 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live!
10/12 – Oklahoma City, OK @ The Criterion
10/13 – Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom
10/14 – Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom
10/17 – Kansas City, MO @ Arvest Bank Theatre
10/18 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant