Last night Jack White rounded out his album release week with a mighty show at the Fox Pomona, his third and final L.A.-area show for this tour.
Lazaretto, released Tuesday, comes on the heels of White’s controversial comments blasting the Black Keys in a recent Rolling Stone cover story. His dismissive remarks about the Ohio band and his conversations, or lack thereof, with former band mate Meg White may have ruffled enough feathers to warrant an apology on his site (which looks like it’s been deleted), but they didn’t do a thing to dampen the crowd’s ardor on Thursday night.
A crewmember, easily identified by the White team’s signature bowler hats, walked on stage before the set to ask the audience to avoid experiencing the show at a later date and put away their smartphones. (White employs his own photographer to put images online for fans.) Far more surprising than the request was the fact that the audience, for the most part, listened.
Walking on stage to the Beastie Boys’ “Sure Shot,” White took his place at the head of a band filled with players who match his musical prowess. What followed was an onslaught. White deftly demonstrated the fury of his guitar-hero status with a White Stripes-heavy set that also featured newer tracks like “High Ball Stepper,” an instrumental piece that recalls Led Zeppelin. Tracks from his first solo offering, Blunderbuss, were mixed in with a Hank Williams cover and songs from his other projects like the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather. A Jack White show is a genre-bending evening where blues, rock, and country all have their place. (He’s now a Nashville man, after all.)
For all mystery and eccentricity woven into his mad-genius image—he’s often referred to as the Willy Wonka of rock—he seemed at ease on stage, content and comfortable connecting with the audience. He urged attendees to make more noise and regaled them with the tale of how he was once booked to play Pomona… Pomona, Montana. The error had him high-tailing it from San Diego to Montana in 12 hours.
White played fewer songs than he did at this week’s other L.A. gigs, Tuesday at the Fonda and Wednesday at the Mayan. Unlike the latter, fans at the Fox weren’t treated to appearances from Conan O’Brien or John C. Reilly, but they did get to witness a softer moment with “We’re Going to Be Friends.” The building rattled again as he closed with one of the most recognizable riffs in modern rock, “Seven Nation Army,” which saw the audience losing its collective mind. Fans shouted the melody at White and he let them carry it as he smiled back.
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground (The White Stripes song)
High Ball Stepper
Hotel Yorba (The White Stripes song)
You Know That I Know (Hank Williams cover)
Freedom at 21
That Black Bat Licorice
Top Yourself (The Raconteurs song)
Icky Thump (The White Stripes song)
I’m Slowly Turning Into You (The White Stripes song)
You Can’t Get That Stuff No More (Tampa Red cover)
Ball and Biscuit (The White Stripes song)
Hello Operator (The White Stripes song)
We’re Going to Be Friends (The White Stripes song)
Steady, As She Goes (The Raconteurs song)
Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes song)
You can watch Jack White’s album-release show at the Fonda earlier this week.