Words by Audra Tracy | Photos by Joe Papeo
For many New York rock fans, a hero fell on Saturday night. Jack White, the musical madman who built an electric guitar out of a stick and a Coke bottle in It Might Get Loud, the vinyl-slinging founder of Third Man Records, totally turned on his own following during his Radio City gig. After he abruptly ended his brief set on 9/29 and pulled an Irish exit, disheartened fans had a field day trashing White’s name all over the internet. Even yours truly, a total White Stripes fanatic and Third Man Vault subscriber, vented my frustration on Facebook, vowing to ‘burn my red pants’ in protest.
We are still awaiting a clear explanation for the stunt, but there is good news: Jack White is officially a human being. And yes, even super famous humans can get cranky sometimes. But it’s too bad that the Seventh Son picked this sold-out gig to air his grievances, especially since he had to face many of the same jaded fans the very next night.
Naturally, Sunday’s ticket-holders were looking for a grand gesture. Something to remind them why the headliner deserved their money after Saturday night’s snub. And while we heard no apologies, White’s set was faster, harder, and more aggressive than the typical vibe of his Blunderbuss tour. On this night White was joined by his all-female backing band The Peacocks, and together they tore through an explosive eighty minute performance.
“Well yes my papa was a rascal/Why can’t I be one, too?” he sang from his piano stool during a mash-up of ‘Trash Tongue Talker’ and the James Booker tune ‘Papa Was a Rascal’. It was one of several instances of the show where a crowd searching for redemption could read between the lines. His older material made an impact too, from a scathing ‘Slowly Turning Into You’ to quite possibly the most moving version of ‘We’re Going to Be Friends’ played this year.
We’ll forgive ya Jack, but we won’t soon forget. And as for my red pants, they’re still rolled up in a ball on my bedroom floor…they’re too bad-ass to burn anyway.
TheWaster.com | New York City