The Raconteurs - Live at Montreux 2008

If you've had maybe just a casual interest in the Jack White-fronted Raconteurs and have never gotten around to buying any of their releases, here's a very good chance for you to catch up. The band has only put out two CDs and this show includes five songs from Broken Boy Soldier and almost all of Consolers of the Lonely. The band is tight as a whip all the way through with their literate yet hooky songs, performed in a style informed by the blues, Detroit muscle and an immense understanding of how to put an original stamp on a pop song. With that in mind it's odd that the band "borrows" the riff for its best known song "Steady as She Goes" from a Joe Jackson song, but presented about half way through the show the tune gets the large crowd bobbing up and down in delirious unison. Other highlights include "You Don't Understand Me" where White plays a hot electric piano solo, the country-tinged "Old Enough" and a take on Terry Reid's "Rich Kid Blues" where Benson sings the song's intro quietly only to have the music explode into a Who-like whirlwind and eventually dissolve in a wash of psychedelia. The Raconteurs don't go into attention-grabbing histrionics on stage but their level of playing is such that this film comes across as absolutely riveting.

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