Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Dead Weather @ Coachella: Jack White is so far from his weapon

Posted by teibs On April - 18 - 2010

jackalisondw@ZackTeibloom It’s getting discouraging. I know I should just accept that Jack White plays drums and is a back-up singer in the band he’s most committed to. Nope. It doesn’t feel right. I was hopeful the new album would feature Jack coming out from behind the kit and picking up the guitar at least a couple more times. Nope. He’s relegated to one song wailing away on the guitar and it’s by far their best.

The Dead Weather kicked into gear right as The Muse ended a triumphant (but wanking) extravaganza of a show Andy is overrating to the point he thinks it’s better than Jay-Z. It’s almost as big a miscalculation as not having one of the best guitars in the world play more than one song on guitar. OK I’ll pretend to get over it long enough to tell you they did play a damn good blues-rock show that I was captivated for.

Dressed all in black, The Dead Weather dealt us a batch of tracks off the upcoming Sea of Cowards, starting with “Forever My Queen,” which is new, but didn’t even make the album despite being one of their strongest. Jack pounded away with emphatic two handed slams on his kit as Alison roared. Jack toned it down as he rattled the rims of his kit for “60 ft. Tall,” before taking a monster solo on “Hang You From the Heavens.”

seaAlison sat down as Jack strolled to the front of the stage to take over vocals on “You Just Can’t Win,” crooning his lines before getting back to the set in time to finish the song as Alison beat a tambourine and I noticed how long Little Jack’s goatee has gotten.

“How You doin, Coachella? Good to see you again,” Jack White said to us. “It’s not too hot. It’s not too cool. It’s just right.” Thanks Goldilocks. Alison brought out her echo-y box-y guitar for “So Far From Your Weapon.” Jack echoed Alison’s voice, pulling off the impressive playing drums while singing move by having the mic positioned in the middle of his set. I know I would have knocked it down with a stick.

They followed the with a couple of new ones, an Alison led track and the new single “Die by the Drop” an eerie call and response that engaged Jack and Alison despite him sticking behind the drums. Jack intro’d the band, calling Alison “Kid Ruthless” before telling us they were going to play new track “Hustle and Cuss” with “Jack Lawrence on bass with one of his grooves.” It was quite a groove, Jack.

Sea of Cowards songs pop a little more and seem more riff-based. It’s a good move for them, but not one new song they played featured JW on guitar. They finished strong. “Cut Like A Buffalo” had Jack on lead vocals (I remember him usually on back-up there) before their gem, “Will There Be Enough Water.”

Timing couldn’t have been worse, because just as Jack waltzed up to pick up his guitar, Tiesto started his especially loud DJ set. It caused Andy, Rob and Matt to leave their post to head over to Tiesto. Big mistake. Alison started the song with a cigarette as she sat down to build up energy. At least to build up the sexual tension she’d soon exhibit with Jack. The 10-minute opus is everything the band should be. Move Jack Lawrence to drums, put White on guitar, move Dean to keys and let Alison be sexy and smoke and sing into Jack’s mouth. Who needs a bass when Jack is pounding out nuanced blues solos? It wasn’t quite the explosion of a solo like the ACL show, but I have a feeling I’ll watch it a few times when it’s on YouTube.

Typically I’ve seen them end on “Will There Be Enough Water,” but they gave us two more and chose wisely. They beat a live horse with “New Pony,” and as they sand “How much longer?!” I had to wonder the same thing about Jack White and the guitar. How much longer do I have to go to see him play and only get one song on the guitar?

“Alright, Coachella we have one more song. Thank you so much” Jack said to the enthusiastic crowd who didn’t leave for the wild dance party that was starting at Tiesto. They closed with “Treat Me Like Your Mother,” losing themselves in the tricky wordplay for a minute and using it as an excuse to rock it harder and play a more improvised, thumping version. They ended with a bang, showing they can stray from the songs. I left satisfied, but not completely.

Post-script: As I’m typing this in a desert town Starbucks, there’s an awful midi version of U2 “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and I have to think, Jack White still hasn’t quite found what he’s looking for. At least not what I’m looking for. Get back on the axe, man!

5 Responses

  1. Jennifer Said,

    I share your same sentiments when it come to Jack being trapped behind a set when he could be tearing up the stage with guitar. Ah well- maybe I’ll get another guitar solo in Austin (as Jack did in Dallas last fall).

    Posted on April 19th, 2010 at 9:03 am

  2. Debra Said,

    If someone invites you over for a nice dinner of lasagna and wine, you don’t go there expecting pizza and beer, and then complaining that it’s not pizza and beer, and then asking when are they going to get back to serving you pizza and beer, like they did before.

    Drumming for The Dead Weather is what Jack White is doing now. It’s how his music is expressing itself, and his loyalty is to his own muse, to the music that is flowing through him — not the expectations of his fans. Nobody is forcing you to go to his shows, so you could skip it if you like. But if you go to a show without carrying along the burden of all your demands and expectations, if you go to enjoy the show in a spirit open to all possibilities, then whatever magic the artist is grooving on right then can be fully experienced and delighted in, for just what it is.

    Fans don’t own an artist, and the artist is not subject to your rules and advice and attempts to manage his career for him. The show will be a lot more fun for you if you realize that. Just receive what he’s there to give, and stop demanding that he has to give you something else instead.

    I’ve seen The Dead Weather live a few times now, and was blown away every time. And I love getting the chance to hear and watch Jack White on drums. Yes, I would love to see The White Stripes again, and also the Raconteurs. But that’s not on the menu for today, so I’m going to enjoy what is available, because it’s truly awesome.

    FWIW: you wrote a pretty spiffy review, if we subtract out all the complaining.
    And “Forever My Queen” is a cover, originally by Pentagram. They were playing it during the last tour too, so that might be why it’s not on the new album.

    Posted on April 19th, 2010 at 9:55 am

  3. shore Said,

    Debra- You make a really good point. I was trying to compare it to something and couldn’t quite nail it. Was it like when Michael Jordan played baseball? Kind of, but he didn’t dunk in the 8th inning… I guess I have to just accept that I don’t own Jack White, no matter how much I wish I did. It is still quite awesome. Thanks for he info.

    Posted on April 19th, 2010 at 1:15 pm

  4. jlu76 Said,

    It’s Baby Ruthless not “kid”
    how close were you? cuz i didn’t even notice Tiesto..
    also Jack started as a drummer in most of his earlier bands so this endeavor is not suprising and it makes it that much more exciting when he actually does play the guitar… it’s like christmas morning or the last day of school they would not have the same impact if it was laced thru out the entire set

    Posted on April 22nd, 2010 at 3:59 pm

  5. Jack B. Said,

    I disagree completely. I watched their Bonnaroo set and thought the lowlight was when JW came out to play guitar. Much prefer Dean.

    Posted on June 14th, 2010 at 11:15 am

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