Thursday, 24 January 2013

Jack White - Alexandra Palace, London, 2 November 2012

Night Number Two with a Rock Legend

Having seen Jack White once this year already and having loved every minute of it, I strangely didn’t feel the need to put too much presser on what the second performance would be like in London. And maybe that was because he had cut a gig short after 45 minutes somewhere in America because he “just wasn’t feeling it”. Put him in a room of heavily drinking Brits and who knows what could happen?

So instead of being there as the doors opened, I sauntered in with my mates whilst the support band was still belting out their set. Now, with all this pre show free time on my hands this did enable me was to purchase far too much merch. Keep in mind I already had a shirt from previous gig…… I now walked away with a cover for my vinyl record played, another t-shirt, and four collectable vinyl records…….All in all, possibly the most merch I have ever dragged home with me from a show.

The venue itself (Alexandra Palace) was a massive estate house, or something of that ilk. It is made up of several rooms, the largest being used as the main hall for the gig. This room resembled a large aircraft hanger or an old European train station. And so we found ourselves forging our way into it, or at least as far as we could, whilst the roadies set up the stage for Jack.

Jack kicked off the evening’s festivities with a cracking version of The White Stripes song “The Hardest Button a Button” and this set the tone for the rest of the night.

As with last time I saw him in Amsterdam, he played a really good mix of songs from all the bands that he has played with previously, whether it be The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather or anything of his new solo album “Blunderbuss” (off which he played all the songs off the album).

What was different this time was that he was playing with the all guy band (Los Buzzardos), and what was more noticeable was that this band had to warm into each other. Where the ladies (the Peacocks) had really hit the mark right off the bat, the guys took a while to get going. That being said whilst I wasn’t totally impressed for the first few songs, my opinion did change over the course of the evening…….the boys got their shit together.

Jack has the ability to write a guitar riff that is almost second to none (well of contemporary artists at least). And then he tinkles on the ivory keys and nearly grabs me just as much as his guitar work, it is super impressive to say the least. He plays the piano like he is a honkey blues player (not sure if I understand what I mean by that but it is the blues at its best).

By the time Jack hit Love Interruption (taken from his recent solo album) and spoke the words “ I want love to change my friends to enemy’s, and show me how its all my fault” he had the adoring crowd eating out of his hands, and then rounded it out with Seven Nation Army and it was a done deal, game set and match – Jack White.

As Seven Nation Army thundered out of the grandiose hall and filled the whole building, I took my moment to slowly exit, catching every note and the huge applause reverberate throughout the entire venue. And there it was, the eighteen song set had come to an end. Los Buzzardos had given their all and so had Jack.

Last time we saw Jack the question was raised of is there a person who is more rock and roll on the world stage at the moment, and the answer is no. Jack is the man, he seriously owns the stage and everyone on it. And for that matter every note that he plays he really lets it know who is boss.

I once read that Jack was very close to becoming a priest and was even accepted into seminary school, however he decided to take a different path in life. I believe that he is now closer to god, (or is that closer to being a [rock] god), than he would have been if he had taken that different path…. well in my opinion anyway!


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