October 1st, 2012 6:47am
I Like To Keep My Little Shell Intact
Jack White @ Radio City Music Hall 10/1/2012
Missing Pieces / Weep Themselves to Sleep / Love Interruption / Hotel Yorba / Top Yourself – Penny’s Farm / Cannon – John the Revelator / Screwdriver / Rock Island Line / Blue Blood Blues / Trash Tongue Talker – Papa Was A Rascal / Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground / I’m Slowly Turning Into You / We’re Going to be Friends / Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy / Hypocritical Kiss / Ball and Biscuit // Freedom at 21 / Sixteen Saltines / Seven Nation Army / Goodnight Irene
Jack White infuriated fans at his show at Radio City the night before by playing for about 45 minutes and refusing to do an encore. Going into this show I expected him to be contrite, or address the issue in some way, but no – he never said a single word of banter through this show, and channeled some very obvious and genuine agitation into a set that rocked with such viciousness and velocity that it often felt violent. He bumped up the tempo on pretty much every song, sometimes quite dramatically. I loved it, particularly in the encore, where already-spiteful numbers like “Freedom at 21″ and “Sixteen Saltines” came out sounding like a loud tantrum. It was an incredibly compelling show; he and the band were alive in every moment, and you just had no idea what to expect from moment to moment, particularly as he was tossing in verses from old songs. (The most telling was when, at the end of “Trash Tongue Talker,” he repeated “If my daddy was a rascal, why can’t I be one too?”)
I was hoping to hear “I’m Slowly Turning Into You,” and I was pleased that he did it. Even better, the song’s nastiness was far more intense in this performance. The organ riff whipped at you; each line was dripping with a toxic, bitter bile. He sang the title line with true horror; as if he’d betrayed himself with some terrible compromise from which he’ll never get back to some old state of purity. It’s a song of ridiculous, petty arrogance, but it seemed to come from a very honest place.
Icky Thump from Amazon.