Jack White returns to Pittsburgh with The Raconteurs for frenzied, upbeat concert
Jack White and his band The Raconteurs blew into Pittsburgh on Tuesday night for a raucous, straight-ahead rock concert that kept a lively crowd bobbing their heads and singing along through the very last song of a 100-minute set.
As daylong rainstorms finally passed through Western Pennsylvania, White and his bandmates took to Stage AE’s outdoor venue on the North Shore at 9 p.m.
“What’s up Pittsburgh?” White shouted before launching into the guitar-heavy, rousing “Bored and Razed,” from the band’s third album, “Help Us Stranger.”
Through the years, there have been many iterations of White, from Detroit-based The White Stripes, which introduced listeners to his garage-rock style, to his solo work and even country performances with Loretta Lynn. But it was immediately clear that The Raconteurs, founded with co-frontman Brendan Benson, brings out his best. Sporting a “BURGH” Batman logo T-shirt, White bounced around the stage, playing off the crowd in a fast-paced performance.
An energized White awed the crowds with his power chords and screeching vocals. He paced the stage all night, trading guitar licks in sync with Benson.
White explained his Batman BURGH attire in between songs. He once entertained an offer to play a guitar version of the national anthem for “The Dark Knight” Batman movie filmed in Pittsburgh. In the end, he told the crowd he declined because he believes the instrumental belongs to Jimi Hendrix.
The band slowed it down for few songs, like “You Don’t Understand Me,” and “Together,” but mainly turned back the clock with classic rock sounds. The Raconteurs played 19 songs, including the crowd-pleasers “Level,” “Consoler of the Lonely” and “Steady, As She Goes” as the show’s closer.
During an extend encore, the Pittsburgh crowd impressed White as they sang along with Benson during “Only Child,” a song off the new album.
“You think Pittsburgh knows this song?” he said to Benson. “They (expletive) do.”
Afterward, he promised a few extra songs as a reward.
With all phones locked away in portable pouches, as required, White easily engaged fans to lift their hands and clap in unison during the well-known tunes. The sense of community was evident as fans sung along with “Steady, As She Goes.” Fans filed out of the show at 10:40 p.m., reuniting with their phones as staff seamlessly unlocked the pouches containing them.
Maybe there’s something to this phone-free concert concept.
— Jane West (@NotEast) August 14, 2019
— Joe Morrow (@jpmorrow11) August 14, 2019
“Bored and Razed”
“You Don’t Understand Me”
“Don’t Bother Me”
“Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)”
“Top Yourself “
“Shine the Light on Me”
“Help Me Stranger”
“Broken Boy Soldier”
“Consoler of the Lonely”
“Live a Lie”
“Now That You’re Gone”
“Steady, As She Goes”
Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review assistant news editor. You can contact Ben at 412-320-7991, [email protected] or via Twitter .