Posted by: pop-break | October 9, 2012

Pop-Break Live: Jack White at Radio City Music Hall

bill bodkin looks at the guitarist’s second solo show…

There’s an old adadge many of us were instilled with…if you fall off your horse, brush yourself off and get right back on it.

For Jack White, that’s exactly what happened on Sunday night, September 29.

The previous night at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Facebook statuses and Twitter timelines exploded with bile and venom at the Motor City musician. Having performed a 45 minute set, the guitarist did not give his sold-out audience an encore performance. There are theories and postulations of why this happened, but no one but White himself knows why.

So when the crowd walked into the famed concert on the following night, absolutely no one had an idea what would happen. Some wondered if there would even be a performance. Wild theories abounded from what Jack would say to the audience, if he would do an encore or if he’d bring someone from his other projects like Meg White or Brendan Benson to pop the crowd and smooth things over.

But first, we were treated to…

Pokey LaFarge and The South City Three

As they say in O, Brother Where Art Thou?, Pokey LaFarge and The South City Three play that “old timey music.” The St. Louis born band plays a mix of “mix of early jazz, string ragtime, country blues and western swing rings.” It’s the type of music you could’ve heard in Radio City back when the venue first opened its doors. LaFarge’s sound was enjoyable, infectiously toe-tapping and they were probably one of the best openers I’ve ever seen Jack White bring out on the road.

Jack White

Jack White was conspicuously quiet throughout the night. Usually he’s very animated, developing a helluva banter with his audience. But after the previous night’s experience it was all business. He took the stage with his amazing all-girl band, The Peacocks, who truly, truly are some of the most badass musicians you ever want to see live. I mean they truly brought it on all fronts — performance, vocals, stage presence — and all in retro, Southern belle outfits.

But it was the man of the hour himself, who was the center of it all. He played with such ferocity, such undying energy and almost breakneck passion that you thought there’d be no way he wouldn’t collapse on stage from everything he was leaving on stage.

One thing I really enjoy about Jack White as a musician is ability to improvise on the fly. Whether it was in The White Stripes, Raconteurs or his solo work, he seems to always add a new wrinkle or throw a new monkey wrench into his songs. It’s just crazy to see what he can do with a song.

And on this night, which to the great joy of the sold-out crowd included an encore, he tantalized the crowd with his improvisation and his song selection. Chestnuts like “Hotel Yorba,” “Cannon/John the Revelator,” and “Seven Nation Army” were met with uproarious glee from the New York crowd.

Overall, Jack White once again proved to this night’s crowd why he is one of the best musicians in the business today. Those who attended the previous night’s show will heartily disagree and I have no argument with them. However, when the dust settled at Radio City on this Sunday night performance, Jack White came, saw and conquered the musical hearts of his faithful audience.


Missing Pieces

Weep Themselves to Sleep

Love Interruption

Hotel Yorba
(The White Stripes song)

Top Yourself / Maggie’s Farm
(Bob Dylan cover)

Cannon / John the Revelator
(The White Stripes song)

(The White Stripes song)

Rock Island Line

Blue Blood Blues
(The Dead Weather song)

Trash Tongue Talker

Papa Was a Rascal
(James Booker cover)

Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
(The White Stripes song)

I’m Slowly Turning Into You
(The White Stripes song)

We’re Going to Be Friends
(The White Stripes song)

Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy

Hypocritical Kiss

Ball and Biscuit
(The White Stripes song)


Freedom At 21

Sixteen Saltines

Seven Nation Army
(The White Stripes song)

Goodnight, Irene
(Lead Belly cover)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: