Though most associated with Detroit, the city in which he got his start and from which the White Stripes sprang, Jack White has long been a resident of Nashville. If his solo career is an exploration of the midpoint between Music City roots music and Detroit power rock, White’s ACL taping was a great illustration of his continuing evolution as one of contemporary rock’s most charismatic provocateurs. Or, as @odam tweeted after tonight, show, “If Grand Ole Opry & Rock & Roll Hall of Fame had an illegitimate child, it would be Jack White.”
Highlighting his acclaimed debut record Blunderbuss but drawing from his previous work with the Stripes, the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather, White and his two – you read that right, two – bands (the all-male Buzzards and the all-female Peacocks) blasted through over an hour of music without a setlist, ranging from high energy blues rock to melodic country. Bathed in blue light and starting out with the Buzzards, White roared through solo songs “Freedom at 21” and “Missing Pieces,” before picking up his acoustic guitar for a run through the unreleased Hank Williams tune “You Know That I Know” and “Blunderbuss” (“dedicated to a girl up in Detroit who called the police on me one time”). Back on his Telecaster, he underscored his place in the tradition of heavy blues rock with a medley of the White Stripes’ “Broken Brick” and “Ball & Biscuit,“ interspersed with Howlin’ Wolf’s classic “I Asked For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline).”
As the feedback hummed, the Buzzards left the stage to be replaced by the Peacocks. White and the band launched into “Love Interruption,” the single that heralded Blunderbuss’ arrival, rocking it up with extra fiddle and steel guitar and prominently featuring, as on the record, backing vocalist Ruby Amanfu. The Peacocks continued their countrified ways on the Stripes’ “Hotel Yorba” and a beautifully atmospheric “Hypocritical Kiss,” but proved they could rock hard on the Dead Weather’s “Blue Blood Blues” and the Stripes” “I’m Slowly Turning Into You.” The band closed the set with more country, giving the Raconteurs’ “Top Yourself” and the Stripes’ “We’re Going to Be Friends” a Nashville spin.
After a show described by @Rowling as “incendiary,” White left the crowd wanting more. Fortunately, they – and you – will get more once we edit this into an hour of rocking music television. This episode will air in early winter – don’t miss it!