Taping recap: The Raconteurs

Headed up by the double-headed beast made up of singer/guitarist Jack White and singer/guitarist Brendan Benson, The Raconteurs are hard-wired to play exciting, tuneful rock & roll. Joined by fellow Detroit homeboys Jack Lawrence on bass and Patrick Keeler on drums (plus utility man Dean Fertita, last seen on our stage with Queens of the Stone Age and Iggy Pop), the band is positively deadly. As we found out when the group came back to the ACL stage in support of their long-awaited third album Help Us Stranger, delivering a loud, riff-filled show for the ages, which we streamed live around the world. 

With screaming guitars and thrashing drums, the fivesome hit the stage and into the blasting Stranger opener “Bored & Razed,” with White on the verses and Benson on the choruses. That wasn’t raucous enough, so the band hit the bluesy, crunchy “Don’t Bother Me” even harder. One squall of feedback later, Benson donned an acoustic guitar for “Only Child,” a folk rocker of sorts that featured Benson and White harmonizing on the same mic, bluegrass-style. The ex-White Stripes singer moved to the keyboard for the semi-ballad “You Don’t Understand,” a pop song overtaken by White’s passionate delivery and pounding piano. He stayed on his stool for “Shine the Light On Me,” a classic rock anthem for a new generation, but returned to the guitar to lay fuzzed-out guitar licks on Benson’s conflicted kiss-off “Now That You’re Gone.” 

That song led straight into the rifftastic “Sunday Driver,” one of the new record’s catchiest and fiercest rockers. So an acoustic guitar had to come back out, with Benson driving “Help Me Stranger” through its mutated power popping country rock. “Thoughts and Prayers” moved back to anthemic folk rock territory, though with rumbling synth embellishment. Benson went back to acoustic for the Southern rock-inflected ballad “Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying),” which keyed on ragged three part harmonies as much as loud guitars, and denied its depressive sentiment with the coda “Here right now – not dead yet.” The band double dipped back into 2008’s Grammy-winning Consolers of the Lonely for the countryish “Old Enough” and the snarling “Top Yourself,” before slamming directly into Stranger’s boogieing Donovan cover “Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness).” Then a familiar beat underpinned guitars riffing in harmony, leading to an extended take on “Steady As She Goes,” the powerhouse rocker from their 2006 debut Broken Boy Soldiers that introduced The Raconteurs to the world. The crowd broke into call-and-response with “Are you steady now?” before the song crashed back into its blazing wall of guitars. 

After that facemelter, the band ended the set with the crime story “Carolina Drama,” which might have been a Marty Robbins-style folk ballad were it not for the rock volume and White’s distinctive wail. “If you want to know the truth of the tale,” White sang, “Go and ask the milkman” the audience answered. The set ended, a guitar fed back, White hugged a member of the audience, and the crowd went wild. “That’s it!” said White, and it was over. It was a hell of a show, and we can’t wait for you to see it when it airs early next year on your local PBS station as part of our Season 45.

Giveaway: Rosalía

Rosalia-Fall19 Promo Photo - Getty (1)

UPDATE giveaway is now over.

Austin City Limits will be taping a performance by Rosalía on October 8th at 8 pm at ACL Live at The Moody Theater (310 W. 2nd Street, Willie Nelson Blvd). We will be giving away a limited number of space available passes to this taping. Enter your name and email address on the below form by Noon on Friday, October 4th.

Winners will be chosen at random and a photo ID will be required to pick up tickets. Winners will be notified by email. Passes are not transferable and cannot be sold. Standing may be required. No photography, recording or cell phone use in the studio. No cameras computers or recording devices allowed in venue.

ACL to live stream Raconteurs taping on Thursday 10/3

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Austin City Limits is thrilled to announce that we will be live streaming the return of The Raconteurs to our stage. The taping streams live on Thursday, October 3 at 8p.m. CT on our ACLTV YouTube Channel

The Nashville-based Raconteurs—featuring Jack White and Brendan Benson as dual frontmen/guitarists/lead singers/songwriters, and ace rhythm section of Jack Lawrence on bass and Patrick Keeler on drums—return with their acclaimed third studio LP and first new album in more than a decade, HELP US STRANGER (Third Man Records).  The chart-topping album debuted at #1 on the SoundScan/Billboard 200 — the band’s first-ever #1 and their third trip to the top 10. Featuring a cadre of killer songs, HELP US STRANGER sees the mighty Raconteurs reassembled, stronger and even more vital than ever before as they continue to push rock ‘n’ roll forward into its future, bonding prodigious riffs, blues power, sinewy psychedelia, Detroit funk, and Nashville soul via Benson and White’s uncompromising songcraft and the band’s steadfast musical muscle. With HELP US STRANGER, The Raconteurs have returned right when they are needed most, unified and invigorated with boundless ambition, infinite energy and a collectivist spirit operating at the peak of its considerable powers, once again creating a sound and fury only possible when all four of its members come together. The band burst onto the scene in 2006 with their now-classic debut album, BROKEN BOY SOLDIERS, winning worldwide acclaim, Grammy® nominations for Best Rock Album and Best Rock Performance and a chart-topping smash single in “Steady, As She Goes,” followed by 2008’s Grammy®-winning CONSOLERS OF THE LONELYHELP US STRANGER is earning numerous shout-outs from national press: “The Raconteurs have made an album of what are, relatively, straight-up bangers…With tune after tune, this third Raconteurs outing is a blast” (The Guardian);  “HELP US STRANGER is Jack White and Brendan Benson’s love letter to classic rock” (Q); “the group’s richest batch of songs to date” (Spin).  Recorded at Third Man Studios in Nashville, TN, the record is proof positive a combo with chemistry like The Raconteurs has no rust to shake off. They are as scrappy, current, steadfast, and captivating as they were when they first joined forces, and their joy of creating together is satisfyingly palpable. Earning raves for their first live shows in eight years, the band return to our stage in the middle of an epic world tour, and we’re thrilled to welcome them back.

Join us here on October 3 for a rockin’ set from The Raconteurs. The broadcast episode will air early next year as part of our new Season 45, premiering October 5 on PBS.

Taping recap: Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten had solidified her position as one of the queens of indie rock long before now. But her latest album Remind Me Tomorrow, with its sensual blend of folk, pop, new wave and electronics is rightly taking the singer/songwriter to a new plateau. We were happy to live stream her first-ever appearance on ACL, with Tomorrow as its centerpiece. 

Her four-piece band arrived onstage first, setting up the atmospheric intro of “Jupiter 4.” Wearing a sparkling silver suit, Van Etten took her place in front of the mic, opening her golden throat to give incandescent life to the lines “It’s true that everyone would like to have met a love so real.” Then drummer Jorge Balbi kicked out an insistent beat, part disco, part new wave, to signal the irrepressible RMT single “Comeback Kid,” as Van Etten rocked it like the love child of Patti Smith and the Motels’ Martha Davis. She brought similar gravitas to the throbbing “No One’s Easy to Love,” a tune driven by Devin Hoff’s insistent bass. Donning a Gibson hollowbody guitar, Van Etten mentioned that she and the band were happy to end their tour where it began, before strumming into “One Day,” an older tune that garnered enthusiastic cheers. She applied her powerful voice to the country-tinged “Tarifa,” imbuing it with smoldering power and ending with a quick strum of Charles Damski’s guitar. Van Etten replaced her guitar with a set of chimes, as Heather Woods Broderick’s buzzy synthesizer ushered in the moody “Memorial Day.” 

Electric guitar took center stage for the riff for the poppy “You Shadow,” though Van Etten’s voice easily pulled the spotlight. She stepped to the keyboard for the synth ‘n’ organ-heavy “Malibu,” which twisted California pop to her own darker purposes. On came another guitar as the band put the song through a grinding coda, with no pause before the intense, thudding rocker “Hands.” The band left the stage as she sat at the piano for a stunning solo rendition of Sinead O’Connor’s “Black Boys On Mopeds,” a song she noted “was made during another time of unrest, but is sadly still relevant today.” After that emotional powerhouse it was time for something more upbeat, delivered via the deceptive “Seventeen,” the poppy sheen of which was disrupted by Van Etten’s angry shouts, to the audience’s delight. She took a minute to praise and introduce her band and crew before going into the stately folk rocker “Everytime the Sun Comes Up,” another tune from Are We There. Van Etten and band ended the main set with the beautiful anthem “Stay,” to major applause. 

The crowd clearly hadn’t had enough, so the musicians came back, with Van Etten back at the piano for the elegant, emotionally fraught “I Told You Everything” (“no changing my mind”). She re-donned her guitar for the last song of the night, the pounding anthem “All I Can,” from her 2012 breakthrough Tramp. It was a fine way to cap a strong show, and we can’t wait for you to see it when it airs as early next year as part of our Season 45 on your PBS station. 

Taping recap: Cage the Elephant

Cage The Elephant are undeniably one of the hottest bands in America – maybe the hottest. The Nashville-based (but Bowling Green-born) septet was a success right out of the box, and has only gotten bigger, more powerful, and more sheer rock & roll since its 2008 hit “Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked” hit the airwaves. Now, following a string of festival dates, the GRAMMY®-winning band made its ACL debut in support of its acclaimed fifth album Social Cues, and it was a show we were lucky to live stream around the world. 

The band took the stage with piles of clothes, hats and masks scattered about, singer Matt Shultz in one of his signature homemade outfits, with blue tights and elbow length rubber gloves, sunglasses and t-shirt. He moved slowly to a beach chair placed on the stage, but once the musicians jumped into the new wave-heavy “Broken Boy,” he leaped up and stalked the stage. The energy level ratched up another notch with the garage rocking “Cry Baby,” the rock getting rockier, a toothbrush making an appearance and Shultz demonstrating an inability to stand still (or keep the same hat on for more than a minute at a time) in the classic Iggy Pop manner. He donned a mask for the crunching “Spiderhead,” then a yellow fisherman’s outfit and another mask (on top of the one he was currently wearing) for the power “ballad” “Too Late to Say Goodbye.” Still in his yellow outfit, Shultz went maskless for “Cold, Cold, Cold,” which sounded like a long-lost Nuggets cut, before taking his case directly to the people by joining the audience in their seats. He added tinfoil to his ensemble for “Ready to Let Go,” a midtempo song that served as a breath-catcher, and gave Shultz time to find a facemask to sing through. The band leapt directly into “Social Cues” before pausing just long enough for Shultz to note, “I lost my toothbrush. What if I want to brush my teeth?”

Smoke emerged from the stage and the lights went crazy for “Tokyo Smoke,” another new wavey tune from Social Cues that featured Shultz in tight white pants and a straw gardening hat. He pulled a lycra body suit on, giving the crowd time to cheer wildly for the opening riff of the radio hit “Mess Around.” Cage took on a folk rock air for “Trouble,” another crowd-pleaser with which the audience sang along. “Skin and Bones” also let the energy simmer for a few minutes, with Shultz concentrating on his singing and movement. Then a familiar slide guitar riff introduced the band’s breakthrough “Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked,” with the thrilled crowd once again treated to the snakehipped Shultz’s presence among them. Cage went back to the garage for the rocking “It’s Just Forever,” which ended in a flurry of improvisation, before entering dream territory for the psychedelic “Telescope.” After a brief Shultz sojourn atop a stool, the band ripped into the pounding “House of Glass,” with the singer entwining himself in the stool’s legs during the tune’s climax. 

As the show headed towards its end, it became a cavalcade of hits. Following a monologue in which Shultz thanked the crowd for the energy it was giving the band, Cage offered up the massive radio hit “Come a Little Closer,” once again earning singalong from the crowd. “My cup runneth over…with love,” Shultz enthused, before the arpeggio that opens “Shake Me Down” drove the audience wild. A volcanic performance followed, as befitting one of Cage’s signature songs. Then it was on to the anthemic folk rocker “Cigarette Daydreams,” another radio and fan favorite. That served as a palette cleanser for the full-on rock attack of “Teeth.” “Are you into the beat?” the song rhetorically asks, and it was clear that the audience certainly was, given the titanic roar that followed the song’s climax. Though most of the band quit the sage, Shultz didn’t make it off, instead stopping to choose a new outfit, then donning a guitar. Joined by keyboardist Matthan Minster and guitarist Nick Bockrath, Shultz continued the show with the tender and sad “Goodbye.” He ended the show with the even more lovely “Love’s the Only Way.” The audience cheered loudly as the members filed offstage. It was a remarkable show, unlike anything we’ve had before, and we can’t wait for you to see it when it airs early next year on your local PBS station. 

Giveaway: The Raconteurs

UPDATE giveaway is now over.

Austin City Limits will be taping a performance by The Raconteurs on October 3rd at 8 pm at ACL Live at The Moody Theater (310 W. 2nd Street, Willie Nelson Blvd). We will be giving away a limited number of space available passes to this taping. Enter your name and email address on the below form by Noon on Tuesday, October 1st.

Winners will be chosen at random and a photo ID will be required to pick up tickets. Winners will be notified by email. Passes are not transferable and cannot be sold. Standing may be required. No photography, recording or cell phone use in the studio. No cameras computers or recording devices allowed in venue.

Giveaway: Sharon Van Etten

UPDATE giveaway is now over.

Austin City Limits will be taping a performance by Sharon Van Etten on Monday, September 30th at 8 pm at ACL Live at The Moody Theater (310 W. 2nd Street, Willie Nelson Blvd). We will be giving away a limited number of space available passes to this taping. Enter your name and email address on the below form by noon on September 26th.

Winners will be chosen at random and a photo ID will be required to pick up tickets. Winners will be notified by email. Passes are not transferable and cannot be sold. Standing may be required. No photography, recording or cell phone use in the studio. No cameras computers or recording devices allowed in venue.

Giveaway: Cage The Elephant

UPDATE giveaway is now over.

Austin City Limits will be taping a performance by Cage The Elephant on Friday, September 27th at 8 pm at ACL Live at The Moody Theater (310 W. 2nd Street, Willie Nelson Blvd). We will be giving away a limited number of space available passes to this taping. Enter your name and email address on the below form by 2 pm on Wednesday, September 25th.

Winners will be chosen at random and a photo ID will be required to pick up tickets. Winners will be notified by email. Passes are not transferable and cannot be sold. Standing may be required. No photography, recording or cell phone use in the studio. No cameras computers or recording devices allowed in venue.