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Music

Recounting the Raconteurs @ Metropolis

Posted by Goran / June 8, 2008

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The Raconteurs pumped out an evening of solid rock last Wednesday at the Metropolis. Obviously, I would have preferred to see Led Zeppelin, but these storytellers were a tolerable mimic substitute good. They’re not much more than a full band version of the White Stripes with lower quality song writing.

In fact, I’m not quite sure as to what Jack White is trying to do with this band. Personally, I’ve disliked the group from the very beginning. It was mainly because their first single, ‘Steady As She Goes’, is a very poorly written blatant rip-off of Joe Jackson’s ‘Is She Really Going Out With Him?’

The song actually turned out to be a crowd favourite that night. It also exhibited the awesomely raw rock guitar sound of the Raconteurs. Thus I strongly recommend their shows to enthusiasts of classic guitar rock. In that regard, the Raconteurs are what many indie rock bands aspire to be, although for obvious reasons they fall short of personifying the indie vibe themselves.

The novelty of the White Stripes is their deconstructionist approach to rock. They take what’s best of the genre and synthesize it into simplified mash-ups that showcase the base purity of the beats and riffs that make rock roll. Thus, their two-piece set-up actually becomes a symbol of their art form. Musically, the Raconteurs do more of the same. In my view, their mere existence effectively spoils, to a great extent, the ingenuity of the White Stripes.

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However, I can’t deny that Jack White is a very special person. He has an incredibly versatile rock voice. He has an uncanny knack for extracting the coolest riffs, licks, beats, and bits of classic rock songs and compiling them as new compositions. And although by no means a Guitar God, he manages to put on a highly entreating six-string spectacle. Also, to the band’s credit, all of the members sufficiently demonstrated their capacity to rock.

One of the cooler aspects of the show was the auxiliary mic set-up that had Mr. White turn his bum to the audience and simultaneously stare back through a mini mirror installed on his guitar amp. I’m actually not sure if there’s a point to the story. The Raconteurs closed out their encore performance with an intense Carolina Drama rock out. I’m going to leave it there, for I no longer trust the accuracy of my own recounting. So if you must know the truth about the tale, go and ask the milkman.

Photos from flickr user Stepan Mazurov

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