• Jack White And The Peacocks Live In Seattle

    Story and Photos by Alana Crawley

    There are some people who exist on a completely different level than the rest of the world.  They possess such incredible talent and their creations are so complex, with every detail tuned to perfection.  After seeing Jack White play the WaMu Theater in Seattle on August 14, I am convinced that he is one of these people.

    Outside the theater before doors opened was a line stretching at least a quarter of a mile down the block.  Anxious fans from every walk of life waited for what they knew was going to be a mind-blowing performance.  Opening was a young man from St. Louis, Missouri named Pokey LaFarge and his band The South City Three, who looked and sounded like they had just been picked up out of the 1930s.  Then men in black suits and top hats took the stage and set up for Jack White and his band.

    White has quite an extensive catalog to draw from, and he definitely utilized it, playing songs from The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and his first solo album, Blunderbuss, released in April of 2012.  He hit the stage and got right into it, opening with a classic White Stripes song, “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground.”  He then jumped into his solo work, playing songs such as “Missing Pieces” and one of his newer singles “Love Interruption.”  The chemistry between White and his all girl band, The Peacocks, was striking.  They were all so in tune with one another and their sound was so full and tight.  Each one of the girls rocked it, providing White with excellent support and aiding him in creating his powerhouse sound.  The sounds that he managed to produce out of his guitar were incredible.  He attacked each note and chord he played, seeming to tame his guitar to create his dirty, raw signature sound that resonated throughout the theater.

    After wowing the crowd with a completely satisfying rendition of “The Hardest Button to Button,” (which I thought was a fantastic selection), White and his band left the stage for what felt like a lifetime.  Despite half the audience enthusiastically chanting the “Seven Nation Army” anthem, and several screams of “I Love You Jack,” Jack didn’t return right away, leaving the crowd anxiously staring at the ominous, empty stage and begging for an encore.

    White finally gave into the audience’s pleading and rocked “Sixteen Saltines” and “Freedom at 21,” off of his new record.  Joking, he exclaimed “Let’s start the show!” and went on to play an encore that was almost as long as the set.  White and his band managed to give a whole new sound to White Stripes classics, creating new depth with the addition of elements such as steel pedal guitar, violin, bass, organ, and a very soulful backup singer.  Then the moment that everyone had been waiting for finally arrived – “Seven Nation Army”.  The bassist played on a five-string bass, giving the riff an extreme low.  Between the bass and the kick drum, it felt as if your heart had lost its own beat and it was now beating at the command of Jack White and his band, leaving them in control and you hanging on every note.  White wound it down and wrapped up the two hour show with a cover of Leadbelly’s “Goodnight, Irene.”  The audience stumbled out of the theater in complete awe.

    Everything in this show seemed so well thought out: from the men in black suits and top hats setting up the stage before the show adding an element of drama, to the semi-circle arrangement White’s band around him allowing him to interact with each one of the girls.  White, who was dressed in a dark suit and hat, surrounded by a band of beautiful women wearing light shades and sparkles, appeared to have an aura of mystery around him.  He paced the stage, exuding a sense of confidence that made him seem larger than life.  His shadow was projected onto the drapes behind him to further extend his presence in the theater.  No one in the audience could take their eyes off of him.

    I must admit, after seeing how his all-female band rocked it, I’d love to see how the sound and energy would morph with his all-male band, The Buzzards.  Jack White and his bands are touring throughout North America and Europe through October.  If he’s coming to a city near you, go see him.  You will not regret it.

    Set List:
    Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
    Missing Pieces
    Weep Themselves to Sleep
    Love Interruption
    Hotel Yorba
    Top Yourself
    Hypocritical Kiss
    Screwdriver
    Blue Blood Blues
    I’m Slowly Turning Into You
    I Guess I Should Go to Sleep
    The Same Boy You’ve Always Known
    The Hardest Button to Button

    Encore:
    Sixteen Saltines
    Freedom At 21
    Steady, As She Goes
    Blunderbuss
    We’re Gonna Be Friends
    Take Me With You When You Go
    Ball and Biscuit

    Suzy Lee
    Seven Nation Army
    Goodnight, Irene

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