Tag Archives: The Dead Weather

Jack White and the Virgin Suicides

Last night I saw Jack White with The Peacocks.  Don’t get me wrong, I fucking love Jack White, but he is really disappointing live.  It’s like he tries to take on too much, refuses to play anything straight, and monkeys with the timing of his songs in a distracting and annoying way.  I’m all for clamor, but the first two songs were a hot mess.I want to love the lady band The Peacocks, but the whole scene felt like a fucked up Loretta Lynn homage with a sinister Carrie undertone.  Wigs, polyester gowns, I was waiting for the bucket of pig blood to drop out of the sky.  Within his self-created world of nostalgia, Jack White fetish-izes women.  Very Virgin Suicides.Sloppy start notwithstanding, we enjoyed some excellent drumming from Carla Azar.  She clearly resisted the sister-wife uniform.  (Note, these pictures are from the Paris show; the over-all look at our show was much more circa 70’s Nashville.)Jack divided the set among a hearty serving of his solo album, a sprinkling of White Stripes – including a toned-down and unexpected Fell in Love with a Girl, and a track or two of The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs – (set highlight Steady As She Goes sing along).  The well-rounded set list was as good as any I could have hoped for, and they powered through with barely a pause before breaking for the requisite Seven Nation Army encore. Photos by Jo McCaughey who I can only assume was the showy chick clomping around the stage in stacked mary janes and short-shorts taking pictures throughout the performance.  She was serving a little side performance of her own.  Plaza Queen.

The Dead Weather, LIVE

To say I was looking forward to this show would be an extreme understatement.   Reveling in both Horehound and Sea of Cowards, and harboring a huge lady boner for Mz. Mosshart, obtaining tickets to The Dead Weather topped my priority list this summer. High expectations usually come with deep disappointment, and you wouldn’t be reading this if I didn’t have a few criticisms.  Sound issues vexed the performance with Mosshart’s vocals too low and the bass too loud.  Multitasking presented a challenge for Jack who struggled to simultaneously drum and sing, with the vocals suffering over the drumming (in case you were wondering).  At times they were sloppy and muddy sounding. Dean Fertita fucking rocked on lead guitar, with his clean, inventive, beautiful musicianship.  Alison looked a little thin.  Her choice of long sleeved shirt in the intense heat raised my eyebrow, but she growled, implored, screeched, and exquisitely harmonized, proving she’s as well-rounded a vocalist and frontwoman as you can find.  Her eye contact will improve when she harnesses her power and gains more confidence.  She and Jack shared a mic and a intimate moment on Will There Be Enough Water?, and Alison drew out an achingly gorgeous vulnerable quality she usually keeps under wraps.  Expect to see much more from her unless she falls prey to the cliched pitfalls of the lifestyle. The true glowing talent is Jack White.  His starshine undeniably illuminates the entire room.  The term genius should not be thrown around willy nilly, lest it lose its meaning, but here it truly applies. These musicians obviously inspire each other and love working together.  There is genuine, palpable affection among them.  Overall, a stellar rock show.

THE DEAD WEATHER: Sea of Cowards

When it comes to The Dead Weather the sum is greater than the parts.  An inspiring union of gifted musicians, Alison Mosshart, Jack White, Dean Fertita, and Jack Lawrence have all seen success with other projects (The Kills, The White Stripes, Queens of the Stone Age, and The Raconteurs).  However, when these four get together they create music superior to anything any of them has put out before as part of any other musical incarnation. I’ve been patiently waiting all year for a record this fantastic and finally it has arrived in Sea of Cowards.The Dead Weather’s first album, Horehound, counts as one of the best records of 2009.  Sea of Cowards literally feels like it picks up where Horehound left off.Alison Mosshart’s a total fucking hurricane and it is no surprise Kate Moss is out of her mind with jealousy.