The Raconteurs will play their first live show in two years, and their only planned concert of the year, as headliners of the inaugural MI Fest, which takes place Sept. 17 at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich.
The performance will break a hiatus for the band, which features Jack White, Brendan Benson and the Greenhornes rhythm section of bassist Jack Lawrence (who also plays with White in the Dead Weather) and drummer Patrick Keeler. Formed in Detroit and now based in Nashville, the Raconteurs released two albums -- "Broken Boy Soldiers" in 2006 and "Consolers of the Lonely" in 2008 -- each of which debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200.
The group members have been working on other projects since the summer of 2008 and circumspect about plans for the Raconteurs. Keeler told Billboard.com earlier this year that "everybody's kind of doing their own stuff, and it's always just about timing. I don't think anybody has been purposely trying to derail anything, but we want to be respectful of the other things we do." Benson, who's returned to recording as a solo artist, echoed that "it's all to do with timing" and said that another Raconteurs album is "not out of the question. I don't know when the next time we'll all be available to make a record, or even talk about it, will be. When we were founded it was whimsical and impulsive and spontaneous and all those words. I think it'll always be that way."
The Raconteurs will be joined at the MI Fest by co-headliner Sheryl Crow, while a variety of Michigan-based artists will fill out the two-stage bill, including Mitch Ryder, former Grand Funk Railroad frontman Mark Farner, the Romantics, the Rockets, Alto Reed from Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band and Kid Rock protege Ty Stone & the Truth. The festival will also include an art show featuring works by legendary rock poster artists such as Gary Grimshaw, Stanley Mouse and Mark Arminski.
Discounted pre-sale tickets for the show are available through Friday [June 8], with the general public sale beginning Saturday. Information about the festival is available at www.mi-fest.com.