The White Stripes Plaza of Nations, Vancouver BC - September 15, 2003

The White Stripes Plaza of Nations, Vancouver BC - September 15, 2003
Meg and Jack White are surreally dressed in trademark red accessorised outfits with red instruments and a large backdrop behind them that is, of course, red. Either it's part of their shtick or a sign of their truly off-beat personas or perhaps both; their live show doesn't confirm things either way. Like their albums, the 90-plus-minute show offers a fascinating aural experience. Elements of punk, '60s rock, blues and even old school country all rear their heads at times, tied together somewhat erratically by the Stripes' raw, edgy sound. Consistently breaking genre rules, the duo keep themselves thoroughly entertained while creating these stylistic contradictions. Their two-person sound impressively fills the hefty venue, thanks in large part to Jack White's guitar craftsmanship and his ability to slip between blues slide to garage feedback within the same verse. On the flipside, the audience is consistently kept off-balance. This pleases true fans, but annoys those waiting to hear the radio-friendly hits. Likely anticipating this, the Stripes latest hit single, "Seven Nation Army," appears almost exactly halfway through the show but still generates the greatest crowd response. Certainly it's no small feat to win over a crowd of radio-friendly bandwagoneers, but that's what's required if this red-hot Detroit duo are to hold on to their crowns as the current king and queen of rock.