Last night our cover kids the White Stripes did a one-off club date at the Glass House in Pomona in preparation for their show tonight at the Street Scene festival in San Diego and their subsequent US tour. Truthfully, the Glass House isn’t that little a room, but it sure felt that way since there seemed to be only one fan in the entire place and it was aimed directly on Meg White’s back.
Could you describe the White Stripes’s performance with usual critic adjectives like ferocious, devastating and incendiary? Definitely. Could you also use made up words like hagalosocalic, tractophymatory and sumanitrizak? Why the fuck not. With a setlist stocked with new songs, old songs, originals, covers, favorites and obscurities - you know how the Stripes do - they blasted through them all the razzmatazz we heart them for. And Meg had bass drum banging like a mofo.
After an hour of power they took a break and returned with a tender turn, starting with Jack doing his own interpretation of the quickie “Passive Manipulation” from Get Behind Me Satan that Meg had sung just 20 minutes earlier. They then led the crowd through sing-alongs on “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” and “We’re Going To Be Friends” before closing it out with the burst of “Red Rain”, “Seven Nation Army” (featuring a variation on the signature bassline seemingly made up on the spot), “Death Letter” and the traditional boogie of “He’s Looking For A Home”. Once they left the stage for good we offered up a toast to the White Stripes in our minds (and with our bottled waters) and then spent the entire ride back home discussing the “meaning” of Meg White.
Also Jack has cut his hair shorter (though the mustache and van dyke remain untouched), so he’s back to looking like an intense, athletic painter from the early ’60s.