Tuesday, June 3, 2008
The Raconteurs - Terminal 5 - NY - 5/30/08
Meh to you, Jack White.
So here it is. I didn’t think the Friday Raconteurs show at Terminal 5 was that good. Don’t get me wrong—it was good. It just wasn’t that good. I left feeling disappointed. Perhaps it’s because the past two times I’ve seen them, I’ve been blown away. Or maybe I’ve just never seen a show at Terminal 5 before. Really though, the bottom line, at least for me, is that Jack White makes or breaks a Raconteurs concert...
The first time I saw them, Jack White was practically shitfaced off the crowd, giddy, grinning, ripping into every solo with nearly-carnal appetite, looking expectantly at the other four as if encouraging them to dig in. On Friday, it felt like he was going through the motions. The solos were lackluster. The vocal distortion on “Steady As She Goes” was depressingly superfluous. They didn’t even play their sick live arrangement of “Store Bought Bones”. They essentially stuck to the studio recordings, presumably relying on their characteristic energy to carry the day, and for me, it didn’t.
The second-worst part was the bizarre mirror set up on stage presumably just for Jack White; the worst part was how he kept gazing into it. I’m praying there was some sort of intended irony there? Or maybe he was more in the mood to noodle around in his bedroom in front of the mirror, playing with his new toys and practicing his rock face, than to actually play a rock show. (Wouldn’t blame him.) Either way, I found it utterly baffling. If you think I’m being harsh, I am. The concert had moments of greatness. The keyboardist’s fiddling on “Old Enough” gave me rockshow goosebumps. Brendan Benson nailed “Shades of Black” with that voice of his. I even managed to find my 5’2” self a step by the bar to stand on, so I could actually see. It just could have been better. I love the Raconteurs, and they’re a kickass band. Is there really anything so wrong with expecting the world?
Tara McCarthy Contributing Writer to Stark
Photo Credit: Ryan Dombal, Play Vicious.