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Published:December 13th, 2006 10:50 EST
The Raconteurs play in Nashville

The Raconteurs play in Nashville

By Jessica Baird

Arriving in Music City via Motor City, Nashville’s coolest new residents thrilled a sold out crowd at City Hall. The Raconteurs, known mostly because of their front man Jack White of The White Stripes, played a blistering set which included all the tracks off their debut album Broken Boy Soldiers, as well as a few covers.

Although all those in attendance were anxiously awaiting the big event (some had been waiting outside in the cold for a few hours prior to doors opening), they were all handed another surprise before the main act.

Opening act The Muldoons walked onstage amidst an air of confusion and questions amongst the crowd. The group consisted of two brothers, ages 8 and 12, with their dad on drums. The initial wonder went away when the little rockers, complete with pageboy haircuts, plugged in and played several quick and loose tunes, one of which was a Helmet cover.
For the crowd the smiles stayed on throughout their brief set, and they quickly turned into shrieks of delight and flashing cameras when The Raconteurs sauntered onto the stage. Naturally, each of them possesses the ultimate rock ‘n roll accessory- a persona that oozes hip and cool. Not to mention the fact that with this being the final date on their worldwide tour the group zipped through their set like the well-oiled garage rock machine that they are.

Opening with “Intimate Secretary” and not letting up until the final note of “Steady as She Goes” the crowd kept taking it all in, knowing that each of us were experiencing one of the best live acts around.

Each track of their album translated wonderfully live, but some other unforgettable moments arrived thanks to two cover songs, “It  Ain’t Easy” by David Bowie and Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang.” Benson tackled and then triumphed with the Bowie tune, which is a track off the classic Ziggy Stardust album.

White turned a song about rejection into an all out rage complete with an unforgettable raucous vocal delivery. “Bang Bang” could definitely be classified as one of those scene-stealing moments.

Speaking of scene stealing, for many people in the music industry, The Raconteurs were initially known as “Jack White’s side project” or as another rock ‘n roll super group. But thanks to Brendan Benson’s power pop sensibility, and the ferocious precision and persona courtesy of Little Jack Lawrence on bass and Patrick Keeler on drums, both members of The Greenhornes, the spotlight wasn’t just on White but on the group as a whole.

For the 1,200 attendees that cold and rainy night in November, it is very unlikely they will ever be referred to as a ‘side project’ again.