I rolled up last Thursday’s Jack White show at the Charlottesville Pavilion in full freak-out mode. Various stressors had gotten the best of me, and I actually brought the idea of leaving up to Mrs. You Hear That while the stage was being prepped for Mr. White. Thankfully we stayed, and the more I think about it, freak-out mode might have been the best possible mindset for my first time seeing Jack White perform.
Oh, the nervous energy. The sweet, crazy, creative, nervous energy. Not nervous in terms of being scared, mind you. His is a special type of urgency that’s mixed with spontaneity — he calls out the set list on the fly, like a super-intense Willie Nelson — and the combination is utterly contagious. This was easily one of the most rapt audiences I’ve seen. Excepting of course the “I love you, Jack!” screamers, all the faces around me were pointed forward, attentively soaking in White’s brilliant guitar work. Brilliant and piercing. Piercing tonally, piercing in the jagged shape of his lead lines… and oh yeah, piercing in the sense that it was absolutely BLASTING out of the speakers. So loud. So awesome. He was great, and so was the rest of the band, especially drummer Daru Jones, whose angled-forward drum set, elbows-out expressiveness and full-swing snare hits helped build some of the night’s biggest and most memorable moments. The whole spectacle was equal parts mischief and medicine, and I walked away feeling revived and remedied.
Another huge perk of seeing White perform, and subsequently studying the set list, has been getting to know songs from White’s non-White Stripes projects I hadn’t heard before. One that’s since grabbed me is Dead Weather tune “I Cut Like A Buffalo.” After listening to the song a bunch of times, I’m dying for another opportunity to sing along with the title lyric like so many people did on Thursday. That’s just one of a zillion reasons I’m holding White to the promise he gave near the end of the show to “not be a stranger” and come back to VA soon. I don’t care if he only plays for an hour — I’ll take whatever White I can get.
Check out “I Cut Like A Buffalo” below (Did I just write a Beastie Boys lyric?) and click here to snag the album from whence it came. Just for kicks, I’m also posting a super-cool remix of the song, because what can you imagine going together better than Jack White and a dance club? Aw yeah!