I’m the guy people call when they want to go to a concert and need someone to go with them. So off I went to Columbia Wednesday night to see Jack White. Not The White Stripes, not The Dead Weather, not The Raconteurs (am I missing a Jack White project? And yes, I know about The Upholsterers), but Jack White, solo, if solo means full band with violins, theremin and an overabundance of hideous blue light.
It’s hard to complain about Township Auditorium (“Township Auditorium”? Really? Was “Place To See a Show” or “Venue” already taken?), parking was close, cheap and easy, security was reasonable and drinks, while overpriced as expected, were easy enough to get. The sightlines looked to be pretty great from everywhere, the interior was nice looking and the sound was top notch. The crowd was a mix of fairly young to well seasoned music fans, with more uber fans than I am used to seeing at a show. You know the type, “Jack White” tee shirt and carrying a big bag of freshly purchased merch.
Olivia Jean was the support act and it was easy to see why, her style of rock was definitely in the same vein as the headliner. I had never heard of her (she still has less than 800 Facebook likes), but the songs were solid, with catchier, slightly heavier numbers toward the end of the set. Repeated listening would probably open up her songs, too. Overall, pretty cool.
After a short break the curtains opened again and the stage, band and audience were suddenly bathed in
really beautiful blue light that would vary ever so slightly over the course of the night, from light blue, to dark blue, and, just to add some variety, grey blue.
The band consisted of Jack White, obviously, plus an excellent drummer, bass player, violinist, pianist/keyboardist and a multi-instrumentalist who helped fill out the strings or, if needed, manipulate a theremin. Jack White himself switched often between electric and acoustic guitars and piano. The setlist was drawn from across White’s various projects with a handful of tunes from Lazeretto and I can’t think of a “hit” that wasn’t played. Some of the people around me who had seen White before seemed particularly excited by some deeper cuts that were included, but I didn’t hear any songs that I had not heard before. Slightly different arrangements of some of the more popular songs made them more interesting to me than hearing them the same way for the umpteenth time, I didn’t even recognize “Fell in Love with a Girl” until the vocals hit, which was great. Almost 2 hours later, the band closed with “Seven Nation Army”, with White encouraging the audience to help with the now popular soccer stadium melody.
I’m sure more than a few fans left the auditorium having experienced the greatest show they had ever seen. While I’m not in that group, I was glad to cross off one of the few remaining “stadium” size artists I want to see from my list, and all in all it was a pretty satisfying night.
More pictures after the jump. Did I mention the lighting blue?