My first jam for Saturday was with Spanish Gold, a side project from Patrick Hallahan, the drummer for My Morning Jacket. They hit me with funky little rock tunes emitting undertones reminiscent of the Black Keys.
Forecastle turned up the funk and soul with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Before their set I ran into Bosco, the lead guitar for the Dap Kings, out in the crowd. We chatted about their recent tour that kicked off at almost the moment Sharon was done with her last treatment in her battle with cancer. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings just got back to the states from a lengthy European tour and Forecastle was their last show before they went home. And with home in site, they livened up the crowd before they got down with some dirty dancing.
Even though Band of Horses was formed in Seattle, lead singer Ben Bridwell hasn’t forgotten his South Carolina roots. Soft spoken to begin with, the band slowly joined the Ben on stage to progress the set of new and old tracks into an orgasm of sound.
As every square inch of grass filled with toes and trash, the Jack White stage crew prepared for lift off. The stage crew looked like Amish gangsters, with their lengthy ZZ Top-esque beards and Blues Brothers style suits. The crowd was filled with Jack White fans of all types: The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, or any of the bands on his Third Man Record label.
In front of me I met a Third Man Family. Mom, Dad and Daughter were all wearing Third Man shirts. I leaned over to the Dad and said “Your family has good taste.” He looked at me and replied, “I have three daughters. One likes One Direction, the other likes Taylor Swift, and my youngest likes Jack White. I GOT ONE!” I think she was about 8 years old. Later on, during the show, White had the mom and daughter pulled from the crowd to watch from the side of the stage. The dad looked at me with tears in his eyes, pointing to the side of the stage, repeatedly exclaiming, “That’s MY DAUGHTER!” I’ve never seen a parent more proud… and I was proud of her too.
I’ve never seen a shuttle launch in person, but it’s the only thing I could compare Jack White’s set to. That, or the explosion of a nuclear bomb. It was a truly mind-blowing performance. White appeared as though he wanted to make eye contact with every single person in the crowd. He played his ass off for the front row… and for those in the parking lot across the street just trying to catch as much noise as possible.
To the audience’s surprise and delight, White played an additional 30 minutes after his set time should have ended. Being from Detroit and a certified music genius, it’s probably easy to lose track of time, especially when he’s mashing up “Icky Thump” and “99 Problems” with lines like, “I got 99 problems but the bitch ain’t home!” I’ve always been a fan of The White Stripes, but Jack White’s set has converted me into a disciple of anything the Detroit Savior has to offer.
All photos by John Ellison.