National City Pavilion
June 10, 2008
The Raconteurs didn’t have a hard time breaking in Cincinnati, Ohio’s brand new National City Pavilion on June 10, especially with two native residents in Patrick Keeler and Jack Lawrence. Drummer Keeler and bassist Lawrence, formerly of Cincinnati’s The Greenhornes, received several ovations as they ably backed their fellow bandmates, Detroit native Brendan Benson and White Stripe leader Jack White.
Leaning heavily on the disc, Consolers of the Lonely, The Raconteurs started the show with the opening title track, revealing the ensemble’s inner core dynamics. White nervously went from microphone to microphone, tearing into lead guitar solos randomly, much to the delight of the sparsely attended, yet fervent audience. Benson displayed a natural knack for placing his wicked guitar leads around and inside of White’s, while handling the lead vocal duties with charisma and charm.
"Switch and Spur" lacked the mariachi attack of the recorded version, but the group made up for it by winging an improvisatory middle bridge that wowed the packed floor inside the pavilion. The brightest moment burned through White’s intensified blues rave up on "Top Yourself." And, Lawrence and Keeler’s rhythm section stood front and center on the radio hit, "Steady as She Goes" from the band’s 2006 debut, Broken Boy Soldiers.
As Benson and White shared spotlight duties on "Rich Kid Blues" and "Blue Veins," The Raconteurs worked towards a climatic end to a rousing two hour concert. Building their songbook with well crafted compositions and fiery, ferocious jams has made The Raconteurs a highly recommended live act during this summer concert season.