It's hot out tonight. The temp in Denver is over 100 degrees. The weather man will tell you it has something to do with the Heat Index, I say it's because The Raconteurs are playing the Fillmore tonight and they brought the scorching heat with them.
The Raconteurs are a blend of 1 part heavy guitar known as Jack White, of the White Stripes fame, 1 part melodic voice Brendan Benson, and the three parts heavy rhythm of Jack Lawrence on bass, Patrick Keeler on Drums, and the unknown keyboardist all former members of the retro sounding garage band known as The Greenhornes.
The opener for tonight's show is a new act out of San Francisco calling themselves just "Kelley Stoltz". The young singer songwriter has four CD's to his name. A young lady in the crowd yells out what's your bands name! Kelly's response "We still can't think of a good name so we are using mine". Regardless, the music was pretty good. The tunes sounded like a variety of music. At one moment we hear the overstated sound of Supertramp, the next the late Syd Barrett and The Velvet Underground. This was their first Colorado outing and seemed a little over whelmed to be playing in 'the biggest room we have played in yet.' This band could really do well, but I'm not here to talk about them.
It's now 9:15pm, the lights are down and the speakers have been blaring something between the soundtrack to the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and the music of a 60's surf movie. Finally the lights come up and the backstage is dressed in a brown tapestry sporting a large R on it. The band is on stage and the crowd ready to go!
The Raconteurs CD is a little over 35 minutes long, so it's not surprising they played everything but one song from it. The opener for tonight's show is Intimate Secretary a song that sounds like a 1980's Car's cover, but is actually an original.. The second song is Level and is the first time we get to see Jack hold his guitar high as he smiles and controls the front of the stage already dripping wet with sweat. There is a great understanding with this group, it turns out they are a band and not a back up for Jack White. Benson works he gentle guitar and voice thru the smoothest of harmonies while he and White sing their big hit Steady As She Goes. The nicest surprise was a David Bowie cover of It Ain't Easy off of the Ziggy Stardust album. There was also a shout out the queen of Boots herself Nancy Sinatra when they played a heart wrenching, soul collapsing version of Bang Bang (My Baby Shoot Me Down).
One of the best songs of the night had to have been Yellow Sun. White and Benson started by really jamming hard with a sweet blend of acoustic and electric guitars then adding the keyboards and rhythm sections until the bounce of the music mellowed out into a smooth wave of bliss. A song I have never heard them, or anyone play, was a cover of a 70's garage band called the Flamin' Groovies; the song was called Headin' for the Texas Border. This closed the set out and everyone waited for the second set to start.
Guess what….no second set. But The Raconteurs did come out and finish off the night by starting into a heavy blues jam, then right into the deepest blue song on the CD called Blue Veins. You could tell the band was all alight from the crowd yelling requests and screaming louder than one would think for a Sunday night show. The last song was a blazing version of Hands. Calling the crowd to chime in on the Hooo Hooo's, I predicted this song would be a crowd favorite when I reviewed this CD a few months ago.
It was a great show, if not a bit too short. This band has only been together for less than a year and is playing their 1st US gig since coming off of a very successful European tour. I can't complain about a short show when every part of it was great. If you are able to…see these guy's live, it will blow you away.