Sunday, October 21, 2012

Jack White
SONY Center
2012-10-03 & 04

Special set up at the SONY, they've taken out the orchestra seats to create a pit. It's loud up front.

Jack's got his girl band (The Peacocks) and his boy band (The Los Buzzardos) getting their own evening, instead of splitting a set like they do at the festivals. Caught this act at Lollapalooza. It's no White Stripes (what is?) but it's more Jack than you get with The Raconteurs or Dead Weather, and that's not a bad thing.

He's touring his debut 'solo' album, Blunderbuss, but the whole catalogue gets an airing.

Jack caused a little stir in New York where he performed a Saturday night show at Radio City Music Hall and did a non-core. A 55 minute set. Some boo's were heard. Blasphemy! Don't know what caused it. Reasons range from 'terrible sound' to 'inattentive audience'. Smart money is coming down on 'Jack did a diva thing 'cause he doesn't like people playing with cell phones while he's onstage.'

I don't either but no one is paying me so I have to suck it up. Speaking of paying, at $78.10 (before Ticketbastard service charges) this is the priciest Jack ticket I've bought. At least it's not an arena, this venerable concert hall has a 3,100 capacity.

When the twits got going on twitter there was substantial backlash that had little to do with this particular incident. Apparently some think that Jack is over-rated. Others think he's a prima donna. I think he's angry but no one's paying me to psycho-analyze him either, so let us get to the first show.

Wednesday Oct 3 - with my daughter, in the pit.

Pokey LaFarge opens...what's that mean? Hank Williams meets George Clooney in Brother, Wherefore Art Thou? High quality opening act, will catch him for sure when he tours solo. Down home roots music with a booming, slapping stand up bass and harmonica swirls on almost every track. Kazoo's and washboards too. Great porch music.

When My Baby Comes To Town
Ain't the Same
Chitlin' Cookin' Time in Cheatham County
Central Time
Drinkin' Whiskey Tonight
Hard Times Come, Hard Times Go
Home Away From Home (Louisville)
Move Outa Town

Brief announcement before Jacks set . Put your cellphones away. To no avail. The people in their seats and standing in the pit 20 minutes before the band comes on are not your problem. It's the crowd speed-drinking in the lobby that's going to cause a scene.

We got the girl band tonight, all resplendent in white. It's a big band. Back up singer and Miss Tambourine Girl, soulful and exotic, Ruby Amanfu, lends her vocal charms to a lot more than the duet on Love Interruption. Her voice meshes well with Jack's and it allows her to take some lines from other songs, with a lovely effect of seeing Jack spin around on stage for a guitar flourish as his song continues to be sung. The lady on drums must have 4 arms, Carla Azar is fast and doesn't lack for power. She's more of a maximalist than a minimalist behind the kit. 5 feet of power on the fiddle, Lillie Mae Rische, shines on Hotel Yorba but except for the odd solo with Jack, gets lost a little in the sonic boom that is the noise coming off the stage. The Crimson Flame on keyboards,  Brooke Waggoner, slaps the keys in the best tradition of bar-room boogie blues. On stand up bass, more slapping like we're at a '50's sock hop, courtesy of the tall-drink-of-water that is Catherine Popper replacing Bryn Davies,on maternity leave. Rounding out the band, a  blonds-are-more-fun Danish woman on pedal steel,  Maggie Bj√∂rklund...cause we know country rules in the lowlands and every young Danish girl wants to grow up to be Pete Drake.

I like Jack's interaction with the girls. It's flirtatious, fun to watch. The girls bring it, this is not The Ronettes.
Most extreme display is during Top Yourself when Jack goes girl-to-girl with the refrain : "how you gonna rock yourself to sleep / when I give up my midnight creep?", calling them by name as they go into their solo.
Jack also had some fun with the audience as they were coming in too soon on the chorus for I Guess I Should Go To Sleep. Jacks likes a pregnant pause on the last two words but the audience couldn't wait. After a couple of false starts and some training...they nailed it.

Missing Pieces
Sixteen Saltines
*Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground/Cannon tease
Love Interruption
*Hotel Yorba
Top Yourself
Weep Themselves To Sleep
Cannon/John The Revelator/Cannon
Hello Operator
I Cut Like A Buffalo
Band Intro
I Guess I Should Go To Sleep
We're Going To Be Friends
*Screwdriver/ Blue Blood Blues
*I'm Slowly Turning Into You
Ball And Biscuit
encore break
Freedom At 21
Steady, As She Goes
*Broken Boy Soldier
Seven Nation Army
*Goodnight, Irene

Thursday October 4, 2012

At the back of the orchestra tonight...easier on the ears, not so good for the sight-lines. It's all 'stand up' from the moment Jack hits the stage. Not as many different songs as I would have liked. Nice to get Catch Hell Blues and Same Boy You've Always Known.

The Los Buzzardo's are not as interesting to look at as the girl band.

Highlight of the evening came early with the opera that was Cannon/Sixteen Saltines/Cannon/Wasting My Time/Cannon. A Jack show without Cannon is no show at all but this is getting ridiculous but in a good way, like bad or sick.
Not as much talking from Jack this evening, all business,.

Missing Pieces
Cannon/Sixteen Saltines/Cannon
Wasting My Time/Cannon
Freedom At 21
Love Interruption
Top Yourself
I Cut Like A Buffalo
I Guess I Should Go to Sleep
The Same Boy You've Always Known
Blue Blood Blues
Steady, As She Goes
Two Against One
We're Going to Be Friends
Weep Themselves to Sleep/Broken Boy Soldier tease
Hello Operator
Ball and Biscuit

The Hardest Button to Button
Take Me With You When You Go
Catch Hell Blues
Seven Nation Army (incomplete)