I’d been meaning to go to Stanley Park to watch the sun rise for some time
now, and I figured before the Raconteurs was the best time to do it. Knowing full well that I would need my rest for the show ahead, I found a nice shaded park bench and lay down with my blanket and a tossed salad. One ride on the mini-train, two bowls of salad, and countless trips around the park later, it was time to line up.
All throughout the opening act, Kelly Stolts, eager Raconteurs fans sat on the grass, fidgeting with anticipation. I spread out my blanket and lay on my back, batting away a few mosquitoes and scratching at the marks left by the ones that survived. All around me people smoked continuously, chatting loudly about their expectations for the show. All were soon to be blown away, replaced with an amazing brain fuck, an intense blur that involved wailing and screeching guitar solos, howling vocals, steady bass lines and bluesy beats.
As the crowd was starting to get into the western tunes blasting out of the speakers while roadies set up as quickly as they could, out walked little Jack Lawrence (bass), closely followed by Patrick Keeler (drums), Brendan Benson (guitar and vox) and Jack White (guitar and vox). They kicked off their set with “Intimate Secretary,” which was a
seemingly unlikely choice over their much better- known single “Steady as She
I was surprised and delighted to hear it first, and immediately the mood in the park shifted. People began dancing and bobbing their heads to the rhythm, while White, Benson and Lawrence chimed in with the lyrics. It was a great choice for an opener, and White came in with a screaming guitar solo almost immediately, which dropped jaws all over the place. Already you could tell that they had met, and were going to exceed all expectations.
Jack White is a musician known for the emotion he puts forward on stage, and he was definitely not lacking in that department. He wailed and whispered his way through an amazing re-working of Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down).” While White hopped around the stage, Lawrence seemed off in his own world. He played steadily and with ease, not disturbing the melodic peace they created up on stage.
From the harmonized vocals in tunes such as “Store Bought Bones,” to the insane and in sync instrumental of “Blue Veins,” The Raconteurs delivered. They have a lot of hype surrounding them, and after witnessing that show, I think they deserve every piece of it.