Jack White Closes Out 2012 Lollapalooza Festival
By Mike Duffy
What Jack White wants, Jack White gets.
That’s the only reason you can explain how White tours with one band made up of only females and another made up of just men.
He started out Sunday’s headlining set at Lollapalooza with the male revue (the Buzzards), knocking off “Sixteen Saltines” from his debut solo release, Blunderbuss, quickly.
The quaking riff calls to mind a lurker waiting in the darkness, ready to strike at any moment, and White’s nimble guitar work added enough distortion and wickedness to throw anybody off the trail.
Jamming along with the guys, White also offered a tease into his past endeavors, with the White Stripes’ “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground,” adding a twangy country touch to the typically-haunting tune.
White’s staccato lyricism was also on display with the male band on “Saltines.” But once he called in the female reinforcements – known as the Peacocks – things revved to another gear.
White firstly brought out vocalist Ruby Amanfu for Blunderbuss’ “Love Interruption,” and they were as romantic as a duo can get without dipping someone on the dance floor.
The rest of the female band, then had the opportunity to participate in the biggest moments of the night, including the four-song encore.
White marked his territory with the Blunderbuss hit “Freedom at 21,” which sent those in attendance into a frenzy with the song’s dirging beat and White’s gnarly axe-work. But the rest of the encore was a nod at his storied White Stripes career as he busted out a reverb-heavy “The Hardest Button to Button” and an epic closer in “Seven Nation Army,” which went for an extended jam that included the entire crowd in a soccer-style singalong. He also tabbed his time with The Raconteurs by playing a country-twanged “Steady As She Goes.”
While White obviously has a few gems on his solo effort, there are too many previous hits to ignore.
And the fact that he still honors his part – rather than forgetting it – makes for an excellent live show.