Jack White - The Wiltern - 5/30/12
Timothy Norris Jack White
Better than...all of the Dead Weather albums put together.
The man who built his career on secrets came to the Wiltern last night. Secret marriages, secret singles built inside of albums, secret shows in vans, Jack White writes his own rules and tells no one his future plans. The man who built his own record company in Nashville, Third Man Records (named after a movie that is all about secrets), has drawn such an unusual array of talent, including Wanda Jackson, Beck, Stephen Colbert and Insane Clown Posse, you never know who he's going to release next.
At 36 he's built three successful bands (White Stripes, Racounters, Dead Weather) before inexplicably dismantling all of them. Now, he's solo at the Wiltern for two nights. But even last night he had to keep us guessing. On this tour he has not one, but two bands backing him up: a male group (The Buzzards) and a female ensemble (The Peacocks). One would just be boring.
And why do we put up with this constant barrage of smoke and mirrors for over a decade? Because we love it. Deep down inside our hearts, there's a little kid who's still thrilled by peekaboo and what is inside of birthday presents, a person who loves spy thrillers and what's lurking around the next corner, a person who wants their rock heroes to never reveal their true names or take off their stage make up. We love the air of mystery that follows every Jack White project.
Dressed in all black, with his signature mussed black hair falling in his eyes and ghostly pallor, Jack White took the stage trying very hard not to smile. Perhaps the roar of jubilation from the crowd amused him, maybe he had just heard a joke backstage, but despite his best efforts White looked mighty pleased to be here. The Buzzards draped around him in a semicircle, all dressed very sharply in black and white, suits and ties, professionalism radiating. These handpicked hired guns came from all over the country, from Brooklyn to Nashville, to do one job: keep up.
Timothy Norris The Buzzards' drummer Daru Jones letting loose a smile
No easy task when the band leader is Jack White. The savagery with which he attacked his baby blue guitar was something to behold. As the first few notes of the opener "Black Math" ripped through the air, everyone in the room knew a little part of them was going to hell that night...and liked it. We were here for stories of betrayal and heartbreak and bizarre dreams all backed by fiery guitars, fearless fiddlers, and heart stopping drum solos.