Jack White at Red Rocks, 8/8/12
JACK WHITE @ RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE | 8.8.12
"There's not enough oxygen here," Jack White said about half an hour into his set last night at Red Rocks. "I got to keep telling my lungs to breathe, and I haven't talked to my lungs like this in a long time. We're going to make it." Despite the lack of oxygen, it didn't seem to slow down White or his six-piece, all-female band, the Peacocks, who dug into material with a fervor from White's other bands and most of his solo effort, Blunderbuss, over the course of his hour and forty-five minute set.
While some people lament the death of the White Stripes, it seems like the breakup might have been necessary for Jack White to move forward. He formed the Raconteurs and Dead Weather while the White Stripes hadn't yet officially pulled the plug, but those two projects hinted at how broad White's scope could be. Blunderbuss took things in a slightly different direction, drawing from country, R&B and gospel elements.
When you look at the set as a whole and the variety from song to song, it's easy to see how wide White's range is, how great his guitar playing is and, well, some folks even consider the guy a genius.
As Blunderbuss's "I'm Shakin'" played on the house system, the six girls, each wearing white dresses, came out and started an intro jam with the drummer thundering away on kit. Once White came out on the darkened stage, the band kicked out a vigorous take on "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" while a floor light shone on White and cast a giant shadow on the white screen behind the group.
As White and the Peacocks turned out several White Stripes tunes, some of the interpretations were quite different than the originals, namely "Fell in Love With a Girl," which was bluesy and unhurried, although there were moments where it felt like Carla Azar was about to kick in a fast beat on the chorus. "We're Going to be Friends," with White on acoustic guitar, wasn't too far from the original, with Azar adding a slight backbeat and Brooke Waggoner adding some piano fills. "I'm Slowly Turning into You" was steeped in a thick, dirty, organ-fueled groove and the fast countrified "Hotel Yorba" was energetic as hell.