The Raconteurs could very well be the future of rock. This Nashville, TN based band started as a side project for its members–Jack White (guitar/vocals), Brendan Benson (Guitar/Vocals), Patrick Keeler (Drums), and Jack Lawrence (Bass)–in 2005. It reached what could be considered the pinnacle of its career very quickly when it was invited to perform at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival in 2008. The Montreux Jazz Festival was founded in 1967 by Claude Nobs. Since its founding, it has spread from jazz to nearly every genre of music, featuring many of the music business’ top names. Among those names are the likes of Carlos Santana, and Phil Collins just to name a couple. Now the Raconteurs can add their name to the list of legends who have played the iconic festival. And fans can enjoy the band’s performance, too, beginning Tuesday, June 19th, thanks to Montreux Sounds and Eagle Rock Entertainment.
“The Raconteurs Live at Montreux 2008” is the latest in a series of archived concerts released thanks to a partnership between Montreux Sounds and Eagle Rock Entertainment. This show is just one more performance that shows audiences why the Montreux Jazz Festival is among the elite live music festivals each year. From the general presentation of the concert to the packaging to the actual concert itself, “The Raconteurs Live at Montruex 2008” is another top notch recorded performance from the famed festival.
Audiences who pick up the blu-ray presentation of this concert are rewarded with a crystal clear picture. And getting to see that picture on a widescreen HDTV makes the experience that much better. Anyone with the room and means to get a surround sound home theater system will appreciate the variety of sounds that the band presents even more. The songs in question cover both of the albums released by the band in 2008. Those songs range from the almost Nirvana-esque opener, ‘Consoler of the Lonely’ to the largely bluesy ‘You Don’t Understand Me’ to the country/bluegrass stylings of ‘Old Enough.’ Fans who were in attendance at the time of the recording rocked out to the show. And now fans will be rocking out at home thanks to the mix of musical stylings.
The band’s setlist was impressive to say the least. But it wasn’t all that made this show so enjoyable. As with Bachman & Turner’s upcoming “Live at Roseland Ballroom” release, The Raconteurs keep the energy throughout the almost 90-minute set. The blu-ray case lists the show at an hour and forty minutes. That is likely including the show’s end credits. But from the opening moments to the last notes, the show runs just shy of an hour and a half. That aside, the band keeps the energy flowing from beginning to end. It’s obvious that the audience in attendance appreciated and fed off of that energy. And audiences will do the same in watching the show in the comfort of their own homes.
The show’s setlist and presentation make for one more great show from the Montreux Jazz Festival’s archives. There’s one more aspect of this show that makes it enjoyable for fans of The Raconteurs. That factor is subtle. But it’s great to experience another show that has no foul language at any point. That seems to be a standard for the Montreux Festival. And the festival organizers are to be highly commended for that standard.
“The Raconteurs Live at Montreux 2008” is just one more in the long list of releases already released and planned for release in 2012. While it may be one more release in the list, one thing can be said of this latest release. And that’s that Eagle Rock and Montreux Sounds have continued to set the bar for live recordings this year. Congratulations to both companies for that. And thank you to both for continuin to make it so difficult for this reviewer to choose a list of the year’s best live recordings. That is, of course, meant in the most complimentary way.
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