Thursday, June 28, 2007

White Stripes in Iqaluit

Sorry to get all rock cliche here, folks, but dude, the concert fucking rocked!

Seriously. I had some reservations going in. I liked the White Stripes, but was hardly a massive fan of the band. The legitimate question could be asked that if I was in St. John's, would I have bought tickets? I'm not sure. I would have had to think about it. But here, no question.

I was also wondering, despite all the reviews, how good a two person band could be live.

Man, I've seen five man bands with not a tenth of the energy that Jack White had on stage last night. Even Meg, behind the drums most of the evening, had some kind of weird magnetic allure. Cathy was utterly baffled at the way she played drums and behaved, but you couldn't take your eyes off of her. Except for when Jack was running around the stage doing something even more captivating.

I frankly can't tell you the song list. Sorry. As I said, I wasn't a huge fan before. "Jolene" was played. So what "Hardest Button to Button." Meg scooted out to do "Cold, Cold Night" to much applause and then was back behind the drums before Jack could finish playing his solo.

As for Jack, well, I'm glad we got to see him early in the tour. I honestly wonder how that man''s voice is going to hold up the length of the tour with the way he was pounding it last night. He certainly wasn't holding much back.

It's also perhaps the first rock concert I've been to (remember, we don't see many good ones in Newfoundland) where I was genuinely in awe of the guitar playing. Even Cathy, who admits to not being an expert on such things and found the show "loud" was impressed. He went through three of four guitars and did several amazing solos not to mention just the normal playing in the course of the song. Astonishing stuff.

The show was a little more than 90 minutes long, and that included the encore. After asking for requests and hearing most of the audience scream for "Seven Nation Army", they played that song, although I think Jack would be the first to admit they botched it a bit.

And I certainly can't say I felt robbed. They were on stage promptly at 9 p.m. They ripped through their set with hardly a break. Jack only began chatting a bit with the audience in the encore, mentioning they met with Inuit elders the afternoon before the show and tried raw caribou for the first time, much to the approval of the audience.

Looking, it was a goddamn amazing show, made all the more amazing by where it was happening. The audience was going nuts the entire show and the band seemed to feed off of it.

I think towards the end of the show they said they might come back. It's hard to say for sure. The audio wasn't as bad as I feared, but understanding Jack when he was trying to talk wasn't the easiest. And you know, I honestly think they might. It was pretty cool of them to come here in the first place. Those of you waiting to see them later in the tour are in for a treat.

Oh, and as you can tell, the whole "no cameras allowed" thing was a joke. There was a sign all right. But there must have been dozens of digital cameras and cell phone cameras going off during the show.

Also a pity there was only 600 people allowed in. Fire regs, I understand, but there sure seemed like a lot of space left.


Dave Holden said...

I wonder how many new fans the White Stripes will get in Canada because of this tour? I'm waiting for them to show up in St. John's, so I hope his voice holds up! It's not like he's Celine Dion anyway.

I'll be very disappointed if the St. John's show doesn't sell out. Apparently there are still tickets left... sad.

Kara and Matt said...

Sounds spectacular! Sad that I missed it, but I ended up being pretty busy :)