The Wiltern, Los Angeles
August 25, 2009
You know about this band, right? Another Jack White side-project. When I first heard about The Dead Weather I was scared. I’m not afraid of references to death, the dead, nor the weather, but definitely skeptical when even the most talented musicians begin launching multiple side-projects. I love the White Stripes and have fond memories of seeing them play intimate shows at The Troubadour long before they signed to V2 and exploded to the forefront of mass consciousness.
Then came The Raconteurs. Another group I enjoyed – both live and recorded. Along the way, of course, I’ve seen The Kills and Queens of The Stone Age several times. So effectively, we’re talking about a super group comprised of musicians from four different bands I really like. You see why I’m scared, right?
What if it sucks?
An unlikely scenario considering the fact that I’ve been enjoying The Dead Weather’s debut album “Horehound” since it was released. Even a less likely scenario when you consider how talented each of these musicians is individually, let alone collectively.
Still, I was a bit hesitant.
Well, my skepticism was short lived because the second I saw the set design and the aged family photograph on the drum, I was instantly reminded of the artistry of these musicians. Yes, this night was going to be about the music first and foremost, but it would also be a show.
And indeed it was. It didn’t hurt that I recently saw the documentary, It Might Get Loud, which gave some great insights into Jack White’s character and his musical influences, detailing the specific Blues song that helped define his sound. Then, to see him drumming in The Dead Weather with such passion and energy, while at the same time reflecting back on the endearing observations Jack shares when discussing Meg White’s style of drumming in the movie. . . But even if I knew nothing about Jack White, I’d be mesmerized by his sheer talent – on the drums, on the guitar, and on vocals. Another thing I love about Jack White is that it’s truly about the music. He doesn’t need to be “the star” of the show and in fact, he seems to recognize that they’re all stars, so he can just sit in back on the drum kit and do his thing.
Alison Mosshart is a large presence. Her voice sounded great, she moves around the stage, grabs the attention of the audience, and holds on tight throughout the 75 minute show.
Then you have Dean Fertita (QOTSA) and Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs). Both are amazing.
The Dead Weather. Even though it was a relatively early show (9:30 – 10:45 pm), I was so amped when I got home that I stayed up until 3am. And then the alarm went off at 6am… So off I go. But I don’t need to tell you much more anyway. Check them out when they come through your town. Or watch some videos from the show last night: