I’m not sure I even know how to write my usual half-ass, mostly off-topic and pretty much irrelevant review for this concert. I felt slightly disoriented the whole time because there was some kind of floodlight on the stage that seemed to be aimed directly at my eyes, so I couldn’t see very much. Plus I’m really short and everyone around me was really tall, and everybody stood up the whole time, so all I actually saw was the blinding light from the floodlight outlining the bodies of my fellow concertees.
I could have been a little taller had I worn high heels, but the last time I went to New Orleans I took a spectacular, multi-stage fall in front of hundreds of people due to the fact that I was tottering precariously around on spike heels on the badly broken pavement of Bourbon St. Since I’ve been reliving that embarrassment over and over in my mind for months, I thought I’d better play it safe and wear flat shoes, which meant that I spent the whole night just staring at the backsides of the fruitcakes in front of me. I say “fruitcakes” because they were all apparently pretending to actually be Jack White, instead of merely being concert-goers there to see Jack White. I mean, they had the hair, the hat, the slightly peculiar, vaguely goth black outfit, etc. Silly fools. They should know there can only be one Jack White.
The White Stripes burst upon the scene after I had already ditched my albums and was trying to re-invent myself as a mother and an adult with a job and so on, and I was rapidly developing my current curmudgeonly attitude toward anything new, but I accidentally heard “Seven Nation Army” somewhere and was hooked. So I trained myself to say “Jack White” instead of “Jack Black”, whom I also like, but for different reasons, and bought the CD. But I was in good company with my admiration, because in an interview with USA Today, Jimmy Page says that “Seven Nation Army” is the one guitar riff he wishes he’d written. So how do ya like that?
I liked the rawness of the White Stripes; the punkety funkety-ness of it all. The blues with a jagged, slightly insane sounding edge. And weirdly, my Jack White concert experience kind of reflected that whole feeling. The sound, at least where I was sitting, sucked mightily. It was that kind of loud, echoey distortion that has caused Pete Townshend’s ears to ring eternally. So I was just standing in this little personal twilight zone full of faceless bodies, broken occasionally by a blinding, disconcerting light, immersed in distorted ear-splitting sound. Of course, that describes a great many of the concerts I’ve been to over the years, really.
Jack said next to nothing to the crowd, so it was all really impersonal feeling, but I can’t imagine Jack White being all buddy-buddy with anyone anyway, so that was okay. And I’m sure it’s just me, but I have to wonder if anyone else misses the whole minimalist thing the White Stripes had going? I mean, he did some White Stripes songs, but they didn’t sound the same, because there were a butt load of people on stage playing along with him. I miss the days when it was just him and his “wife/sister”. Damn it.
Anyway, I was going to take some pictures of the concert and post them, but I got in trouble with a scary looking lady dressed in official looking black pants that was standing in the aisle and had to put my phone up, but here’s a picture of the inside of the historic Saenger theater. It’s really beautiful.
The curtain apparently was custom made for Jack and he carries it around with him from venue to venue. It was really pretty and blue. Blue and floodlights seem to have been the theme. And three white stripe-cube things. With floodlights in them. Here is a link to a Times-Picayune review of the concert and a bunch of pics in case you are interested in an real review by someone who could actually see something on stage.
But I still had a good trip – I ate a bunch of oysters and flirted enthusiastically with the waiter as I guzzled Mai Tais and I did some other stuff that I’ll talk about later. I think I posted this video before, but it’s pretty much the pinnacle of Jack’s punkety funkety blues ability to me. He could have just done this song over and over with one little drummer/wife/sister and I would have been happy. No floodlights or butt load of musicians or custom made blue curtains or anything else required. This is what I really, really want from you, Mr. Black. White, I mean. Because you are one bad ass, punkety funkety bluesy blues dude here. Mr. White.
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