Whatever 'It' is, and it's often indefinable, Jack White has 'It'. He is IT. He is a colossus. A giant. Undeniable talent and inxoticating charisma. A man of super gifts and talents. Thursday night at the Hordern Pavilion proved all of this and more yet again. This year Mr White released his first solo album in the shape of "Blunderbuss". It's a great listen, even though perhaps not quite at the level of his orgasmic White Stripes releases. But his show last night gave us the full gamut of his writing career. From solo stuff to White Stripes to Raconteurs to The Dead Weather, even a Hank Williams cover. And it's not really 'solo' as such. He travels with two bands. The all girl The Peacocks and the all male Los Buzzardos. Jack decides on any given night which band will play with him. In Sydney we received the all male version. Wowee!
It was a buzzsaw opening with the awesome "Black Math". He then followed with perhaps the choicest cuts from the new album. "Freedom at 21" in particular a standout. Then, as noted, the set flowed from old to new, never missing a beat. His five band members, drawn from all over the US, were in step all the way. They were ferocious and sometimes downright incendiary. If I had a slight quibble it might be that sometimes they over did it. Drum flourishes and guitar solos at the end of songs were sometimes just a bit over the top. Especially as the sounds was really LOUD. Maybe I'm getting old but it seem loud and distorted at times, in effect burying Mr White's vocals. Which is truly the highlight. The man has a voice and a half. Warm and also authoritative. He owns the stage. Especially on sublime songs such as "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" and the closing "Blue Veins". The encore was superific. "Steady, As She Goes" was a great singalong and "The Hardest Button to Button" basically owned the night. Of course he closed with "Seven Nation Army". Of course we went wild. This was a ROCK SHOW.
I should say though that I wish this was anywhere else but the Hordern. It's a venue that truly lacks character. A big barn where sightlines are always difficult. If only this was at the Enmore!
Freedom at 21
You Know I Know
Weep Themselves To Sleep
Trash Tongue Talker
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
On and On an On
Broken Boy Soldier
I Cut Like a Buffalo
The Same Boy You've Always Known
Steady, As She Goes
The Hardest Button to Button
Seven Nation Army