The fall concert season is a little light so I thought I'd fill up some space by showcasing concerts I saw before this blog began. Then some I just didn't have the time or energy to publish when I attended the shows.
Since I had a horrific recording experience at MI Fest why don't we start with my first recording ever...a White Stripes weekend in Detroit.
Back in the summer I bought a ticket to a White Stripes show for a friend of mine who had a DAT recorder. He had technical issues. I thought it was time to start doing my own dirty work. It's only a memory if you don't record it. I've got my trusty SONY Mini-Disc and I'm ready to capture my first concert. First three actually, as the wife and I are on a White Stripes pilgrimage.
So many things to learn...how long does the disc record? When is the encore break? Can I flip fast enough in the dark? Thing is, I should have been worried about metal detectors at the door. Only in Detroit, much as I love coming to this city for friends and music.
I had received some sage advice from a taper friend. My rig and mics inside two money belts, under my jeans, covered by a fanny pack that contains my phone, keys and wallet...which I offer up for inspection. Usually that's good enough but they wand me and it detects my mics. They ask me to remove my fanny pack, they wand me again, and it beeps again because it's definitely picking up the mics. I reach into my jacket pocket and show them two cd's, bootlegs of a show from a week ago that I downloaded and am passing along to a friend. It's taken a lot of time already so they pass me by. The next two nights I put my complete rig inside the fanny pack (back pockets), show my keys and wallet and hold it out like I was on a cross. They wand my body and I get in no problem.
I've done about 300 shows since then and haven't been caught at the door yet. Knock on wood.
In three nights we had 86 songs; 2 were done 4 times...a couple teases, the mega-hits, Ball and Biscuit and Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground. 8 songs were played each night, 3 times; The Nurse, 7 Nation Army, My Doorbell, I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself, Hotel Yorba, Hardest Button to Button, Boll Weevil and Blue Orchid. 9 songs were played 2 times; apple blossom,as ugly as I seem,fell in love with a girl (fast then slow),in the cold night,instinct blues,lets shake hands,little ghost (with the blue moon kentucky line),passive manipulation,red rain. And 36 unique songs were played...even though some of them were just alternate mash-ups.
That's 55 unique songs if my three years in Grade 11 math held up.
It's September 30,2005, my wife's birthday. And I'm treating her to a weekend in Detroit. Jack better bring something along to make it worthwhile.
When a White Stripes concert starts there's prelude, no build-up to a climax. It starts with the orgasm and gets more intense from there. Oh, you take a couple breaks in between to catch your breath but you never quite recover from the opening sonic boom.
Tonight we get screamo versions of Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground followed by Black Math, to get the andrenalin coursing through your veins. This is good showmanship. No sense dawdling around at the beginning. Jack takes a break while Meg does the lead on a subdued Passive Manipulation. Then he stays at the piano to reprise the opener, Dead Leaves, but at a much more leisurely pace. A rare version.
Jack asks Meg where they are before they swing into Hotel Yorba. I Think I Smell a Rat morphs into a complete version of Instinct Blues. Jack's loving the piano tonight and he stays there for a rendition of My Doorbell.
Time for a joke about Kwame Kilpatrick, the ill-fated (read: criminal) Mayor of Detroit who was about to spend some time in jail.
" Kwame Kilpatrick came over for breakfast this morning at my house. He did. Said he wanted to borrow some money. I said, get it like you always get it Kwame. He can't fool me we went to the same highschool. Anyway that's my 'talk with the audience' part of the show." Only it wasn't.
We get into the heart of the show with the ever-present Cannon mashup, this time with When I Hear My Name, the first of three distinct Death Letter mashups, this time Jack sings I Can't Keep Myself From Crying at the stage apron with no mic before ripping into the showcase song of the evening. A rare, and a little goofed up, version of One More Cup of Coffee breaks the mold of your usual show. But it's back to the structured part with Astro, Nurse, Cannon reprise, Cold Cold Night (very good) and Ball&Biscuit, also the best version of the three nights. In between he sneaks in a wonderful Big Three Killed My Baby. That's about all you deserve in a White Stripes show, but there's more to come.
There's still a bunch of new songs to go. When I see these I wonder when or if we'll ever hear them live again. We get a powerful version of I'm Lonely (But I'm Not That Lonely Yet) and the best Red Rain of the three nights. At the end of a wonderful Little Ghost Jack was getting talkative again: "How do feel now? (crowd cheers), That's alright. Alright let's hear how I feel now. (crowd cheers)That's alright.That's about right. Over-medium, I'm kinda cooked over-medium now. That's how I like my eggs if you're coming over for breakfast tomorrow, but I'm going to Kwame's house. This is a song off our new album "Get Behind Me Charlie", it's called Red Rain. You don't mind if I play a little bit longer in this encore do you? I got nowhere to go." I'm thinking, ummm no, I got no more tape left.
A couple more candy-cane songs and the 'Saginaw' version of 7NA with the Bacharach epic thrown in makes it a night. Best of the three, though the other two were no slouches. We got a lot of rare songs...and if they weren't rare in 2005 by the time we had the '06 and '08 Racs and the Dead Weather, with only two righteous tours in between...they are rare now.
Check the songs in the set list below for a few mp3s.
White Stripes 2005-09-30
01 dead leaves (partial) / 02 black math / 03 passive manipulation / 04 blue orchid /05 dead leaves on piano / 06 hotel yorba / 07 I think I smell a rat /
08 instinct blues / 09 my doorbell / 10 the mayor for breakfast / 11 cannon/when I hear my name /
12 death letter (first he started singing I Can't Keep Myself From Crying to the front rows with no mic) / 13 one more cup of coffee / 14 astro / 15 jack the ripper /
16 the nurse / 17cannon /18 big 3 on piano (finish on guitar) / 19 in the cold night / 20 ball and a biscuit
01 I'm lonely (but I ain't that lonely yet) / 02 as ugly as I seem / 03 hardest button to button / 04 fell in love with a girl (fast then slow) /
05 I just don't know what to do with myself / 06 little ghost / "get behind me charlie" /07 red rain / 08 apple blossom / 09lets shake hands /
10 seven nation army (Saginaw)/11 boll weevil
White Stripes 2005-10-01
01 / lets shake hands / 02 blue orchid / 03 party of special things to do / 04 dead leaves / 05 passive manipulation /06 cannon/i think i smell a rat / ball and a biscuit / harold, there's something wrong with this guitar* / 07 st. james infirmary /08 death letter tease/little bird/letter out / detroit at 3:30* /09 i want to help you out....from the album Triangle...man, i thought he'd never play this song!* /
10 Stones In My Passway (Robert Johnson) / 11 my doorbell / 12 wasting my time / 13 jolene / 14 in the cold cold night /15 same boy you've always known /16 girl you have no faith in medicine /17 cannon/passive manipulation (guitar and drums)/cannon/i think i smell a rat riff / 18 hardest button to button
01 when i hear my name / 02 instinct blues / 03 laffyette blues / 04 the union forever / 05 the nurse / 06 seven nation army / 07 we are going to be friends /
08 forever for her (is over for me) / 09 red rain /10 i just don't know what to do with myself / 11 hotel yorba / 12 boll weevil
White Stripes 2005-10-02
01 (who's the cry baby intro) / 02 dead leaves / 03 blue orchid / 04 hotel yorba / 05 the denial twist / 06 apple blossom /
07 i think i smell a rat/passive manipulation/i think i smell a rat tease/harrigan / 08 dead leaves/cannon/john the revelator/cannon /
09 fell in love with a girl (fast then slow and some weird shit at the end) / 10 ball and a biscuit intro (tease) / 11 my doorbell / 12 as ugly as i seem /
13 death letter/grinnin' in your face/death letter / 14 do / 15 screwdriver / 16 blackjack davey /17 ??? / 18 walking with a ghost (tegan and sara) /
19 hardest button to button / 20 ball and a biscuit / 21 seven nation army
01 i just don't know what to do with myself /02 little ghost (with the blue moon kentucky line) / 03 red rain / 04 you've got her in your pocket /
05 astro (slow) / 06 the nurse / 07 boll weevil