DETROIT -- A good thing -- no, a great thing -- came to Jack White fans who waited on Wednesday night, July 30.
After setting a high mark with his barn-burner of a show on Monday, July 28, at the Fox Theatre, the Detroit native topped himself at the Masonic Temple Auditorium. After environs he dubbed "too comfortable" at the Fox, he clearly felt more comfortable with the Masonic's open floor and general admission seating -- and with a sold-out crowd packed in and clearly ready for a big night at the site of many White Stripes' triumphs during the past.
At two hours and 15 minutes, White and his nimble five-piece band actually played a few minutes less than they did at the Fox but tore through a nearly three-dozen song set that was markedly different and loaded with surprises -- not the least of which was the appearance of White's Dead Weather bandmates Alison Mosshart and Royal Oak resident Dean Fertita for a stomp through that group's "I Cut Like a Buffalo." An encore rendition of the Dead Weather's "Blue Blood Blues," meanwhile, was part of a catalog trolling that saw White dig particularly deep into the White Stripes' canon for obscurities such as "Screwdriver," "Apple Blossom," "Sugar Never Tasted So Good," "I Fought Pirhanas."
White, who threw out the first pitch at the Detroit Tigers game on Tuesday night, July 29, got the show going on a White Stripes note, too, with a breakneck medley of "Fell in Love With a Girl," "Astro" and "The Big Three Killed My Baby," while he ended the main set by extending "Ball and Biscuit" with bits of the Muddy Waters staple "Got My Mojo Working" and Led Zeppelin's "The Lemon Song." He also played his version Hank Williams' "You Know That I Know" from the 2011 "The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams" project and laced Beck's "Devil's Haircut" onto the end of "Sixteen Saltines," one of eight tracks White played from a generous dip into his latest album, "Lazaretto."
With his children dancing side stage and in plain view of the audience, White and company offered up plenty of favorites as well, both from the White Stripes ("Hotel Yorba," "Icky Thump," "The Hardest Button to Button," "My Doorbell" and the closing "Seven Nation Army") as well as solo singles such as "Love Interruption" and "Lazaretto's" title track, along with the Raconteur's "Steady, As She Goes."
At points of the show there was a sense White could go all night; he even changed outfits completely between the main set and the encore, as if that was indeed his plan. The Masonic crowd certainly wouldn't have minded, that, but all good, or great, things do come to an end, and as he pulled off his guitar White exulted "Now THAT'S the Detroit I know!"
And it was certainly the White that Detroit fans have come to know, and love, as fiercely passionate and unapologetically unpredictable -- and happy to show off a little in one of his favorite home town spots.
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