Published Jul 23, 2009It seemed inevitable that Jack White would draw a mismatched crowd. A strange mixture of old-school White Stripes fanboys, those only familiar with the odd Raconteurs single and a few Kills fans punctuated the crowd at the Dead Weather's Toronto tour stop. The one trait shared by all in attendance? Extreme excitement. White is, after all, a man of great stature within his industry and his band mates - Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age), Jack Lawrence (the Raconteurs) and Alison Mosshart (the Kills) - aren't too shabby either.
The Dead Weather were accompanied by dance punk/prog rock trio the Screaming Females, whose lead singer Marissa Paternoster was exalted by the crowd thanks to her unexpectedly deep vocal delivery and her remarkable guitar skills.
When the Dead Weather's set eventually kicked off, it began slowly with climactic blues jam "60 Feet Tall," as the band, mostly clad in leather and wielding white instruments, entered sporadically. Mosshart's presence as a charming and charismatic stage woman was established quickly, with the band playing through the bass-heavy "Bone House" and onto their first Horehound single "Hang You From the Heavens," which prompted an audience singalong.
The crowd was tickled when White stepped up to the microphone and, with the accompaniment of Lawrence and Fertita, unerringly covered Them's "You Just Can't Win," while Mosshart sat coyly on the amp in front of him. The show continued on in an amusing fashion, with the extraordinary chemistry of a writhing White and his female band mate singing into one microphone on "Will There Be Enough Water?"
The Dead Weather's encore was much of the same, exhibiting the group's stamina on their new single, "Treat Me Like Your Mother." In all, the Dead Weather's collective tour experience and inherent drive to make and perform hearty rock music is evident in their live show.