Out and About: Jack White and Alabama Shakes at Roseland Ballroom
    • TUESDAY, MAY 22, 2012

    • Posted by: Malcolm Donaldson

    As part of his first "solo" tour, rock legend Jack White tore through a career spanning set at Roseland Ballroom last night with openers Alabama Shakes. Although he performed under his own name, the show was anything but solitary. White and his new company blended their own personal styles of rock, Americana, hip-hop and country to make a completely unique sound. The backing band, the all-male "Los Buzzardos," completed Jack White's visionary guitar work and singing to round out a night that was literally jaw-dropping.

    First, Alabama Shakes warmed up the crowd with several cuts from their great debut album Boys & Girls. They started off their set a new song, an upbeat number titled "Makin' Me Itch." It was good to see The Shakes are working on some good new material, even though they have been on the road almost every week of this year. Before they went on, I heard a lot of people saying, "who are these guys?" But once Brittany Howard let out her unforgettable howl, few people could take their eyes off her.

    Before Jack White and company even got onstage, it was clear that the show was going to be amazing. Every detail was spotless. The roadies were dressed in bowler caps and three-piece black and blue suits, making them look like White's musical henchmen. Everything onstage followed an iconically Jack White color scheme: black, white, baby blue, and nothing else. The attention to detail was almost surreal, and it was clear that if White could take care of set-design with this amount of care, then the music must be even better. And it was. With White taking a lot from his back catalog, it was awesome to hear older tracks like "Cut Like A Buffalo" and "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" played with a ferocious back beat. The new band-- which I'm sure White chose with as much attention to detail as everything else at Third Man Records-- fit his style perfectly. Jack White and drummer Daru Jones are a match made in heaven-- Jones estatically jumped out of his seat with almost every cymbal crash and White played with so much energy that his amplifiers could barely contain him.

    It was a very pleasant surprise to see how deep White reached into his catalog. From the White Stripes to The Raconteurs to The Dead Weather, White played at least one song from every proper band he has been a part of. One of the best songs of the night was "Hello Operator," off of the second White Stripes album De Stijl. The call and response between White and the crowd simultaneously gave me goosebumps while making me also want to throw my fist into the air. Another footstomping highlight was the set-closer "Seven Nation Army," in which White sang the final verse backed only by the bass riff sung by the audience. It was these moments of crowd interaction that made White's show at The Roseland Ballroom unusually special. Check out setlists, photos, and a video of show opener "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" below.

    Alabama Shakes Setlist
    01. Makin' Me Itch (new song)
    02. Hang Loose
    03. Hold On
    04. Always Alright
    05. On Your Way
    06. Boys & Girls
    07. Be Mine
    08. I Ain't The Same
    09. Heavy Chevy
    10. You Ain't Alone

    Jack White Setlist (via Brooklyn Vegan)
    01. Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground [The White Stripes]
    02. Missing Pieces
    03. Sixteen Saltines
    04. Hypocritical Kiss
    05. I Cut Like A Buffalo [The Dead Weather]
    06. Top Yourself [The Raconteurs]
    07. Two Against One [Danger Mouse and Jack White]
    08. Black Math [The White Stripes]
    09. Hello Operator [The White Stripes]
    10. Weep Themselves to Sleep
    11. You Know That I Know [Hank Williams Cover]
    12. Blunderbuss
    13. Ball and Biscuit [The White Stripes]

    14. Freedom At 21
    15. Steady, As She Goes [The Raconteurs]
    16. Take Me With You When You Go
    17. Catch Hell Blues [The White Stripes]
    18. Seven Nation Army [The White Stripes]

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