Night 3 with the Third Man
The evening of Thursday April 28, Jack White ended a three-day residency at the Tabernacle Atlanta. Earlier this month White started The Supply Chain Tour and last week released his new album Fear of the Dawn. Before I tell you about the show, let me take a minute to praise his latest release. It “slaps,” kicks, punches, karate chops or whatever the kids are saying these days, it’s frickin’ good! There are a couple stand out catchy tunes like ‘Taking Me Back’ and ‘HI-DE-HO’ (featuring Q-Tip). Both songs give you the full Jack White vibe but lean towards what I think are Dead Weather (a past project band) tendencies. My absolute favorite track is ‘Into the Twilight,’ a song with samples of Manhattan Transfers ‘Twilight Zone,’ who does that!?
I typically photograph concerts, but cameras were a big NO at that show, so I was asked to write a review instead. Being an enthusiastic fan of all things Jack White, I said yes.
The last time I saw him was 2012 for the Blunderbuss tour. I had vowed not to see him live again, not because of anything he did but the venue where he was playing that evening had subpar sound and I was in the last section of seats at the very top. Everyone around me was talking louder than I could hear him, I felt really disconnected from the experience, so I left after 20 minutes with my Jack White loving feelings hurt.
When I saw that he was playing at a smaller venue, I was sold. It felt like it was time to let the experience redeem itself. I made a good choice; it was easily one of the top 3 shows I have ever seen.
I happily ditched my phone and showed up with a notebook and pen in hand, ready to let Mr. White, unleash a rock and roll tsunami on me. He did just that.
After a cute baby punk rock band called ‘Bring Your Own Pet’ opened the show, the Jack White stage crew prepped the stage. It must be noted that they all wore black dress pants and shirts, fedoras, suspenders like old timey gangsters so I decided they get to be called ‘The Jack White Mafia.”
It was obvious that I was about to see a highly curated show with strong attention to detail. Everything was blue and white and also bathed in blue lights, so much blue. This aesthetic carried over to the band who also wore only black, white, or blue. Being a detail oriented, visual person, whose favorite color is blue, I appreciated this.
White walked onto the stage with confidence that only a person with almost 25 years on the job can have.
He ignited the evening with ‘Taking Me Back’ off the new album. If I thought I was going to sit and write all night, I was wrong, I had to dance, everyone in the venue had to dance. The energy White and his band were throwing made was a magnet that grabbed you up out of your seat and made you move.
The drummer Daru Jones was like no other I have ever seen. I married two drummers, I know my drummers and this guy was a premium percussion artist. I drew a picture of his unique drum set up to show my husband because I had never seen floor toms used in that way. He was like Godzilla destroying a village, he tore it up!
The evening was filled with like to think of as mixed media found object art, that is what his music sounds like to my visual learner ears. All the usual suspects were there, psychedelic distortion, bluesy piano, doomy guitar riffs, jazzy guitar riffs, a pinch of metal, a heaping scoop of punk, some bottleneck slide, groovy keyboards, random screams, and moments that sounds like they were from the 50s right next to moments that sounded like the 70s. It was a crazy quilt of rock and roll excellence that covered everyone in the venue. You could not escape the massive energy and why would you want to?
Jack did not speak much during the performance, and I wasn’t mad at that, he was a man on a mission. One of the few times he spoke he said something along the lines of (I can’t read my quote because I was writing in the dark, lol) ‘Atlanta you give it to me, and I give it back to you’ referring to the enormous electric exchange that was happening in the room. We all understood the assignment as he delivered!
My stand outs of the night were ‘HI-DE-HO’ because that song is just plain fun to listen to and ‘I Cut Like a Buffalo’ because I love the Dead Weather. If he had played ‘Just Like Your Mother,’ I would have had most likely died from an overdose of joy and excitement. My third favorite moment of the evening was a very fast punked out version of ‘Fell in Love with a Girl.’
As much as I love the song Seven nation Army (and I do love it), I was kind of meh about it being the final encore. I mean, I get it, the people wanted it. They wanted it so bad that they were chanting the opening bass line so White once again delivered the goods.
This will most definitely not be my last Jack White show, the experience is officially redeemed.
Words and Photo by Brooke Hewitt