When was the last time you looked out at a crowd of people at a concert and didn’t see one phone out? Not one person Snapchatting, nobody taking zoomed-in photos in between peoples’ heads. Not a single person checking the Boston Celtics score during the slow songs.
Jack White played a killer set at Providence Amphitheater in Bonner Springs, Kansas on Tuesday night and cruised through nearly two hours of White Stripes classics, a Dead Weather song, and plenty of raucous cuts from his three solo albums.
But not a single audience member caught a quick flick on their iPhone 6 because Mr. White likes to kick it old school. Of course the man who essentially jump started the analog revolution and revived vinyl records as we know it, would implement a strict “no-phone-policy.” Every audience member stuffed their phones inside a Yondr (trademark) pouch, which allowed for zero-access until unlocked by a staff member while leaving the venue.
The slight sensory deprivation of not having your phone in use is daunting at first, but ultimately gives way to a very delightful concert experience. Coming from a short, 5’6″ kid, I have seen many gigs from the screen of someone’s smart phone in front of me. I’ve also politely wondered, “WHEN WILL YOU WATCH THIS FOOTAGE?! ENJOY THE SHOW!”
So there we were, thousands of fans, eyes glued to the pale guitar god, as he shredded his six-string so hard that jaws dropped. Jack White plays his guitar so well, it almost sounds like it’s not a guitar. It almost sounds bad, you know? Like he’ll be ripping a solo, and it’ll be like, all the wrong notes, but I think that means he’s playing all the right notes? He’s like a jazz musician of rock- it’s the silence in between the notes that matters.
White played a tremendous amount of songs off his new album, Boarding House Reach, which is not bad, but it’s also not great. It’s very much an average album. He kicked things off with the rowdy “Over and Over and Over.” That song definitely kicks ass. Then he segued into the equally awesome “Icky Thump.”
A standout moment was the tour debut of The White Stripes’ “When I Hear My Name.” This was the first time he’s played it since 2012. Fortunately, whenever a Boarding House Reach song would fall flat (like “Why Walk a Dog” and “Everything You’ve Ever Learned”) White could kick out a White Stripes song and have the crowd in his palm again.
You don’t entirely go to a Jack White show to see Jack White songs. You go to see White Stripes songs played by the man who wrote them! Nothing in the show sounded as good as “Hotel Yorba,” “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” or “We’re Going to be Friends.” Nothing got the crowd going more than “I’m Slowly Turning Into You.”
Then there’s “Seven Nation Army.” I could’ve waited in sub-zero degree temperatures for three days while my feet froze off, and I’d still jump around to “Seven Nation Army.” That song, will always and forever PUMMEL audiences. Everybody in the crowd, doing the Jock-Jams, sports-game chant along with White’s guitar. It makes your hair rise and elicit primal screams.
Jack White is a hell of a musician. One of the finest we have. But, man, how much do I have to pay to see a White Stripes reunion show. Not that “Sixteen Saltines” doesn’t rock, it does, but I’d sure love to see “Blue Orchid” live.
Check out Jack White when he comes to your town, or go see him at most music festivals this summer.