Jack White Gorge Amphitheatre, George WA May 26
Published May 27, 2012Fully embracing his solo project, Jack White and his five-piece male ensemble, all of whom appeared to be multi-instrumentalists, swallowed the main stage whole. Glowing like a man made of electricity in his dapper pinstripe suit, White had the wild hair of a Tim Burton character, embodying both a dark charisma and unsettling good looks. He strutted, his swagger backed by a torrent of raw and refined talent, like a sun as his planetary bandmates, dressed in well-tailored vintage suits to complement, orbited around him. The players' unerring commitment was shown by their firm attention to Jack and each other, as if they were telepathically communicating. They played nothing straight, jamming out and arena-sizing selections from across White's vast catalogue, turning "Hotel Yorba" into a jug-band hootenanny and throwing a high-stepping dub breakdown in their "Steady as She Goes" sing-along. White's gaunt yet triumphant face looked as if he was exorcising demons through his barrage of antique guitars. He has a supremely informed style, harnessing the ability to thrash with the best of them, to explode blues-based rock, or tease out a twisted traditional country ballad, and everything in between. Even when White talked, he was mesmerizing, lulling the crowd so far as to sing the bass line to his finale "Seven Nation Army." All the hype and great things that have ever been said about White were entirely justified here.