With the city's semi-extensive hippie population safely miles away in Wisconsin trippin' out to String Cheese, Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood was transformed into a carnival of kids in red and white jump suits, high on the anticipation of catching their idols in action. From the moment I caught the first glimpse of the two-block-long line that wrapped its way around the Metro, it was clear that The White Stripes were the hottest ticket in town, and with good reason. Jack and Meg oozed excitement and energy from the first notes of their staple opener, "Dead Leaves and A Dirty Ground," and they managed to keep the intensity flowing all night long. Jack adorned his standard red tee and red pants, complimented nicely by Meg's red pants and snugly fitting white tank top. Meg was kept cool all night by a fan (a fan that blows air, not a person) that also sent her sexy pig tails tossing and turning for the extent of the evening. I'd say that she did it just to look sexy, but the heat and humidity inside the venue could be categorized somewhere between Kenya and the surface of the sun. Either way, she was hot.
Jack obviously hasn't paid much attention to the marriage and divorce certificates which surfaced on the web a few weeks back. Those documents seemingly confirm his relationship with Meg as an ex-wife, but he continually referred to his skin-banging side kick as "my big sis Meg." Who cares about that shit anymore anyway? If they want to be bro and sis, let them. Either way, they treated my ass, and hundreds of others, to an evening of top-notch entertainment. The show itself, all the hype, fashion, and freaky "attack of the red and white clones" fan base aside, was everything it was supposed to be. Jack called the shots, giving his big sis Meg cues throughout the night. He spent time in front of two mics, one with distortion, one without. He cycled through three guitars, one hollow body for his expert slide work, one electric in standard tuning and the other dropped down a step I believe. But you all know that already. The biggest surprise was how, even though Jack was the commander-in-chief on stage, it was Meg's brief drum pounding explosions that ignited the band's rock 'n' roll flame. If Meg was excited, the crowd was excited.
The White Stripes ran through songs from all three of their albums and some others that I didn't recognize - new songs perhaps? Highlights were Jack's ripping slide guitar solo on "Apple Blossom," and a cover of the Robert Johnson classic "Stop Breaking Down," which is on their first album. Another cover, "House of the Rising Sun," got a good response, as did "Let's Build a Home," "Fell in Love With a Girl," and "Sugar Never Tasted So Good." I don't need to tell you how cool it was, but the show was pretty fucking cool. I've been waiting for the duo to make their way to Chicago for almost a year now and I have to say that it was worth the wait. Even with a year's worth of the anticipation, which almost always results in a let down, they did not disappoint.
In further White Stripes news, Jack White will write songs for and have a bit part in the upcoming film Cold Mountain. A number of today's A-list stars, including Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, and Renee Zellweger will star in the movie. According to Rolling Stone, Cold Mountain, which is based on a book of the same name by Charles Frazier, is the story of a wounded Confederate soldier's odyssey from a hospital to his North Carolina home and the woman he left behind. The film begins shooting in Romania later this month and will hit theaters next spring.