Live - The White Stripes Give Chicago A Colorful Swirlie

The White Stripes played their second show in two nights at the lovely Aragon ballroom on Chicagoís north side last night, pleasing a sweltering crowd of about 4,500 plus. The bro/sis/hus/wife/who cares combo were joined by fellow V2 act Whirlwind Heat, whose debut record, Do Rabbits Wonder?, was produced by Jack White and released through his Third Man imprint. In between sets, a cluster of cartoons were looped, and they looked as if they were locked in someoneís grandparentís closet for 400 years. What the hell were those things? Absolutely no one knew. Finally Jack and Meg strutted on stage and began to represent the 313...thatís Detroit suckas.

As a fan, I must say that I wasnít pleased with the song selection of the set. I have all four of the duoís records, with their debut self-titled effort being my least recognizable (and least favorite), so I assumed that I would know the majority of the set...I made an ass out of you and me.

But when the sleazy noise brigade of ìDead Leaves On The Dirty Ground,î ìHotel Yorba,î ìSeven Nation Army,î and silent killers like ìWeíre Going To Be Friendsî and the Meg fueled ìIn The Cold, Cold Nightî (standout song of the night) tickled my ear drums, I felt like I was in my room with the lights out, making love the was pretty good.

Jack, wearing a black shirt and pants with one black leg and one red leg, barely talked to the adoring crowd, most of whom caught both sold out shows. When the floppy haired singer did uncork his whiney, siren of a voice, I bet the farm that I wasnít the only one who couldnít understand him. I have a better time understanding Ozzy. So I have no clue what Jack said, ever, during the entire two hour set.

The layout of the stage was pretty sweet. Meg was grounded in her shiny red drum kit on the left side of the stage, with Jack and a microphone around center stage, and the keyboard/organ on the right hand side. Two stage hands, who resembled a pair of mind erasing magicians, would run onto the stage here and there, trading guitars or resetting fallen equipment, dressed in black suits with red ties. But Jack had about five microphones placed around the stage, one near the keyboard, another near Meg, and it was a neat stage picture to see the 27-year old current toy of Rene Zellwegger moving around the stage in between ripping his chords, and ending up in some random place with a microphone in his face, without missing a beat.

I think I would have enjoyed this set a lot more if it werenít in such a humongous venue (boo fame) and if the rotation of songs had been a little more familiar and not so...whatís the word....boring? No, that is too harsh. How about, uninteresting? Ok now I am digging myself a whole. The show wasnít bad, it was quite fun, but nothing beats an A+ show where you know all of the songs and donít feel like a poser in the audience, when you actually own all of the bandís records, and still donít know what the fuck your ears are listening to.

All in all ìI love Jack White like a little brother.î

Source: Jason Anfinsen

Live - The White Stripes Give Chicago A Colorful Swirlie