Dan Sartain opened and was as vicious as ever. I've seen him 4 times now and he's never had the same band with him twice. I like that. Shows he's got versatility, adaptability, style and grace. And baiting the Tennessee crowd by rah-rahing Alabama's Crimson Tide was sly and crooked all at the same time. I love this man and you should to.
The White Stripes were everything they could've been. With Jack wisely holding back with what he was offering of new songs (a breakdown at the end of "Icky Thump", the last verse of "Effect and Cause" sung away from the mic, only doing half of "I'm Slowly Turning Into You" and Meg's tambourine-only accompaniment to "Martyr For My Love For You") it was all a delightful tease and treat for everyone in attendance. If anyone tries to form an opinion of these songs from a bootleg live recording they will be confused and rightfully so.
And it felt like old times...me a Dirtbomb, some Greenhornes, a Soledad, two Whirlwind Heats, a Brendan Benson...a collection of friends who'd seen 90% of the Stripes shows in the past few years. It'd been forever since I'd seen Jack and Meg in a place this size (a similar late notice show was in the works for the Magic Stick back in '03, but someone had to go and break their finger) and it felt right. I really hope it's not the last of them in intimate venues.
On the nerdy tip, they opened with Hank Williams' "Tennessee Border", a song they'd never done before. "Do" unleashed anger that I'd never detected from that song. And Meg's got a badass circular drum rug done up like a peppermint. Also, they failed to play any songs off of Get Behind Me Satan. I thought at least there would be some "Blue Orchid" or "The Denial Twist" but alas no. Was it a conscious decision on the band's behalf? You decide.
But Meg was the biggest surprise...usually when they're jamming on some spontaneous riff she can be found to take most of her cues from Jack. But at this show Meg was running with it...throwing in accents and tempo changes in these off-the-cuff jams that occasionally turn into something.
This development will be huge. Once they've been on the road for a bit and fully regained their sea legs, the White Stripes live show will easily be at its most ferocious ever.
And what's not to love about a band that sells limited edition (200some made) t-shirts specific to the date/show for $5 a pop? Beating the bootleggers (do people even bootleg t-shirts anymore?), hooking up the fans and a show specific artifact makes everyone happy.
Tennessee Border (Hank Williams)
When I Hear My Name
Effect and Cause
Jolene (Dolly Parton)
Death Letter (Son House) - Motherless Children (Son House)
Martyr for My Love for You
Canon - John the Revelator (Son House)
Ball and Biscuit
I'm Slowly Turning Into You
We Are Going to Be Friends
Wasting My Time
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
Rated X (Loretta Lynn)
Seven Nation Army