It wasn’t that I wasn’t excited about going to this concert, because I was. It was just that the 3.5 hour drive to Atlanta and the notoriously bad Atlanta traffic was, well draining. I’d never seen Jack White or any of his 127 other bands play live and I had no idea what to expect.
The one thing that kept me going was that I knew that I would be seeing this show at one of my Top 3 venues ever, the Tabernacle. With its gothic interior complete with a cathedral-style pipe organ and ornate chandelier, the Tabernacle boasts some of the best acoustics of any venue in the Southeast. I’ve heard everyone from Brit-rockers The Darkness to the melancholy Mr. Ray Lamontagne play at the Tabernacle and I’ve never once been let down by the sound quality.
And on top of that, it’s a relatively intimate venue, so you are assured some good face time with your artist no matter where you sit. That being said, I didn’t feel like fighting in a mosh pit so we decided to grab an excellent spot on the first row of the first balcony.
The opening act was singer/songwriter Imaad Wasif who was joined by friends on the bass and drums. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you much about this guy because his long, shaggy black hair covered his face the entire set and he slurred through a couple of sentences I believed to be song introductions. What I can tell you is that apart from his apparent affinity for the 80s rock clichés, the guy could seriously sing and play the guitar.
I didn’t know much about this guy until after I heard him Friday night, but he’s toured with Yeah Yeah Yeahs and collaborated with Karen O on the recently released soundtrack for Where The Wild Things Are. (Solid resume, if you ask me.)
Then came the main course. Jack White. Alison Mosshart, Dean Fertita and Jack Lawrence took the stage and spent the next hour and twenty minutes melting the faces off every person in the crowd. It was everything you could want from a rock concert: moody, gritty, sexy and loud.
They kicked the show off with their album opener “60 Feet Tall,” and the crowd, who remained completely engrossed by the band the entire time, went wild. The moody atmosphere was set with blue and white lights that created more shadows than light and frequently sent the crowd into trance mode.
Along with playing most of the songs from their album Horehound, the band wowed the crowd by covering Pentagram, Them and Bob Dylan.
While all of the members are unbelievably talented (each one took turns playing different instruments during the show), it was Alison Mosshart who captivated my attention the most. At times she was elusive and ghostly, shrinking off to one side of the stage to smoke cigarettes and drink what one can only imagine was an adult beverage. And then moments later, she would take to the stage commanding more attention than the obvious draw, Jack White.
She easily blended into the band with her long dark hair, baggy t-shirt and shit-kicking boots. Never demure or overtly feminine, Mosshart’s on stage persona was exhausting and everything you would want from a rock star, male or female.
And then there was Jack, who easily slipped into the role of skilled drummer.
If there are two things this man knows, it’s rock-and-roll and the blues; and with the creation of this band, he finds the perfect home for them both. We were lucky enough to hear him showcase his guitar skills on two songs, and as expected he killed it.
In my mind this concert accomplished two things: a severe case of hearing loss and reaffirmed affection for this alternative-blues genre White has so magnificently constructed. If you have the opportunity to see this band, see them. And if you haven’t already purchased Horehound, buy it today. You won’t be disappointed.
- 60 Feet Tall
- Hang You From The Heavens
- You Just Can’t Win (Them cover)
- I Cut Like A Buffalo
- So Far From Your Weapon
- Bone House
- No Horse
- I Can’t Hear You
- Rocking Horse
- No Hassle Night
- Will There Be Enough Water?
- Forever My Queen (Pentagram cover)
- Treat Me Like Your Mother
- New Pony (Bob Dylan cover)
Check out some my pics and video footage from the show.