Words by Audra Tracy | Photo by Jeremy Gordon
As I gazed hopelessly through a cloudy window on 6th Street, trying to catch at glimpse of Jack White’s badge-only show during SXSW, I knew the universe would soon repay me for my shameless rock n roll patronage. I knew that when I got back on my home turf, I would be front and center for a New York City throw-down at the hands of a musical monster.
And the rock n roll gods are good. Just a few weeks since I watched Jack White’s gig from a friggin’ sidewalk, the seventh son announced a special one-night-only performance at the extremely intimate Webster Hall on the Lower East Side. The show was to be broadcast live on YouTube, with film legend Gary Oldman in the director’s chair. SXS-what?
He thrilled us with The White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and the Dead Weather, built his own vinyl empire with Third Man Records, and now his pockets are so full, he can do anything he damn well pleases. Jack White is such a baller that he brought TWO bands with him to help promote his debut solo album, Blunderbuss.
Ladies first. White’s back-up band for set one, the Peacocks, consisted of six beautiful women who also knew how to keep up with him onstage. Just like at SXSW, the show opened with the old White Stripes tune ‘Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground’, working fans into a feverish rapture.
As he introduced tracks from Blunderbuss, you could hear how much Nashville living has rubbed off on this Detroit native. Fiddles, pedal steel guitars, and an upright bass added some twang to new tracks like ‘Love Interruption’ and the soul-rattling set closer ‘Take Me With You When You Go’.
After a brief intermission, Jack White ditched his baby blue suit and reemerged dressed in all black with his all male band, Los Buzzardos. Whereas the Peacocks brought out the Southern gentleman in White, Los Buzzardos seemed to awaken his inner animal. The guitar god we know and love lit the cannon on set two with his latest single, ‘Sixteen Saltines’.
White showed off a staggering range of styles, moving from acoustic to electric to keys with the greatest of ease. He seemed just as comfortable channeling Hank Williams (‘You Know That I Know’) and Leadbelly (‘Goodnight Irene’) as he did shredding up rock anthems like his biggest hit, ‘Seven Nation Army’.
When it comes to a gig of this caliber, take it from fellow audience members Jim Carrey and Jay-Z – life truly is better on the guest list.
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
Freedom At 21
Two Against One
I’m Slowly Turning Into You
Screwdriver>Blue Blood Blues
Take Me With You When You Go
I Cut Like a Buffalo
Weep Themselves to Sleep
Trash Tongue Talker
You Know That I Know
We’re Going to be Friends
Seven Nation Army
TheWaster.com | Seventh Son