Saturday, 23 June 2012

Live: Jack White / First Aid Kit at Hammersmith Apollo, London 22/6/12

I know this blog is normally about the bleepier, more electronic side of music, but sometimes you can't beat watching a master guitarist at work, and Jack White was certainly that last night.

Before he came on First Aid Kit proved themselves to be a fine support act. With a great line in harmonies, these Swedish sisters, accompanied by a drummer, sang songs from their album 'The Lion's Roar' that traced a line from Johnny Cash & June Carter, through Gram Parker & Emmylou Harris to today (they even have a song called Emmylou).

First Aid Kit

Backed by his all-girl band (he'd used the boys in Brixton the night before) Jack White blasted off with The White Stripes' 'Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground', and immediately had the whole of Hammersmith Apollo eating out of his hand. Throughout the show he was confident, relaxed, and completely in control. As usual there was no set running order, with Jack whispering in the ear of whichever of the girls he was nearest to before he launched into the next song. Mixing up tracks from all of his previous bands, as well as Hank Williams and Leadbelly covers, he bounced around the stage, changing guitars, playing piano, and often sharing the microphone with one of the ladies, who also had a great voice.

Jack White onstage at Hammersmith Apollo

Having seen Jack perform live in all of his previous incarnations, I don't think I've ever seen him looked as relaxed and at ease with himself as he did last night. 'Ball and Biscuit' was so epic he had to take an early break straight after it, before returning for a 9 song encore. He looked like he could've gone on all night to be honest, and with a back catalogue as big and good as his he probably could have done. A top night watching a man totally on top of his game. Jack White played:

  • Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
  • Missing Pieces
  • Sixteen Saltines
  • Love Interruption
  • Hotel Yorba
  • Weep Themselves To Sleep
  • Cannon
  • I Guess I Should Go To Sleep
  • You Know That I Know
  • On and On and On
  • I'm Slowly Turning Into You
  • Blue Blood Blues
  • Ball and Biscuit
  • Freedom at 21
  • Steady, As She Goes
  • Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy
  • We're Going To Be Friends
  • Top Yourself
  • My Doorbell
  • Take Me With You When You Go
  • Seven Nation Army
  • Goodnight Irene

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