Monday, July 16, 2012

Jack White Roseland, Nine (Or So) Weeks Later

I can't believe it's been nine weeks since I saw Jack White and his all male band The Buzzards at Roseland Ballroom in New York City. Or that it's taken me so long to write about it. But then again, it did take me seven (or so) weeks to write about Blunderbuss.

Maybe I just need somewhere around two months to fully process all things Blunderbuss related???

Whatever the case may be, I can say with absolute confidence that this show was one of the best I've ever seen. All of the elements were there. The stage was bathed in a gorgeous, cool, hazy blue light. The setup was beautiful, thoughtful, and thorough without feeling contrived.

A banner with three very tall vertical stripes fell as the backdrop during the show opener "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground". The crowd went completely insane. I'm a tall, strong girl who can hold my own, but it was a little touch and go there for a minute. I was maybe 6 people from the stage, and the pressure from the crowd surge was intense. The guy standing next to me was out of his mind with happiness. It was pretty endearing.

The Buzzards looked fantastic in their suit vests and jackets. Over the course of the show, I got a crush on the tambourine-player-come-background-singer-come-sometimes-mandolin/piano-player. He's a real cutie, and he totally rocked the heck out that tambourine.

And then there was Jack.

Jack owned three different looks over the course of the show. A very cool long-ish black jacket with a white (or very, very light blue?) stripe across the chest. A gorgeous, perfectly crisp, perfectly fitted, very rich, maroon/burgundy colored button down shirt. And a plain black t-shirt for the encore.

All were accompanied by the most classic yet awesome black jeans and equally awesome black belt (see photo above). He also wore some very snazzy shoes. Shiny and black. Or boots, they may have been ankle boots. Booties? Are they called booties when men wear them? I hope not.

And now to the music. What can I say, really? It was unforgettable! And so ridiculously good that it seems silly for me to even try and explain how or why it was good. The Buzzards were so awesome. I feel lucky to have seen them.

Every song was fantastic and special in its own way, but my personal favorites were:

1) Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground (amazing opening song)
2) Trash Tongue Talker (I love Jack at the piano!)
3) I Cut Like a Buffalo (heavy and dark)
4) Top Yourself (need I explain?)
5) Catch Hell Blues (one of my favorite White Stripes songs)
6) Hello Operator (lots of crowd involvement on this one)
7) You Know That I Know (Jack charmed the heck out this song)
8) Blunderbuss (heartbreaking and beautiful)
9) Take Me With You When You Go (this song is so dynamic, and my favorite tambourine player was on the piano for this one, which was exciting and fun to watch)

To see a the full song list for the show click here.

An interesting tidbit. I treated my 23 year-old niece to the show. I come from a big family, I'm the youngest of seven, so I became an aunt at a young age. My niece and I are more like sisters, and we have a lot in common.

And so, I was not surprised that she fell completely in love with this music. It was sort of her introduction to Jack White, having never really listened to The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, or The Dead Weather. She did (though) buy Blunderbuss when it came out, so she was familiar with those songs. She loved the whole show. Even (and in some instances, especially) the songs that she didn't know, which I think really speaks to how well they were played and performed, and how much feeling was put into every sound. And the experience of the whole thing. Like we were all in it together. Yes, Jack and his Buzzards were on an elevated stage and they were bathed in light, but there was something unusually intimate and (dare I say?) tangible about the whole thing.

Great show. Great pierogies at Veselka before the show. It's crazy, there are a handful of things that I miss about living in NYC, and Veselka is hands down the most missed. But I digress.

Photos by the awesome Jo McCaughey.