I will freely admit that I am a Jack White fanboy. I love everything he touches…except for that time he worked with Insane Clown Posse.
I have seen him with The White Stripes, with The Raconteurs, on multiple solo tour stops, and I once even skipped work and waited five hours in line to watch The Raconteurs play four songs in a record store.
I like Jack White a lot, so it makes sense that I’ve been a member of the Third Man Vault for a long time and own many, many limited releases from Jack White’s label, Third Man Records.
This live recording is one of those limited releases. It is from The Raconteurs’ 2019 tour and is a compilation of three nights at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
An insert in this package highlights a quote from Mr. White saying that Cain’s Ballroom is his favorite venue.
The Raconteurs are not Jack White and some other musicians. The Raconteurs are all incredibly talented and successful musicians in their own right; they are seasoned pros. However, Jack White is definitely the stand out of the band. He brings an unmatched ferocity to his live shows that stands out in any crowd and that fierceness is very clear on this record.
But, it is a little much, at least at the beginning of Live In Tulsa. This album starts off a little rocky. Rough vocals and lyrical missteps would be much more forgivable from other bands’ live recordings, but I am honestly surprised at having those show up on a live recording from The Raconteurs.
As you make your way through this record the band seems to get much more into a smooth groove. They begin to rip through songs with impressive intensity and then slow everything down appropriately.
It seems odd to me that Live In Tulsa takes a while to finally level out and that there are odd bumps here and there throughout the entire recording, yet here we are.
This criticism should be taken with a grain of salt; Live In Tulsa is a live recording of an exceptionally talented band. I suppose their level of talent is what causes the blips on the radar of perfection to stand out a little more than usual.
As a casual listen, this album is a fantastic example of gritty and raw garage rock that has been polished over many years. There is a roughness to the sound that is intentional and a smoothness that flows through and balances it all out.
My favorite track is my favorite Raconteurs song: Carolina Drama