White Stripes Celebrate New Album With Club Show
Fresh off a scorching Bonnaroo performance on Sunday night, the White Stripes played a two-hour, 26 song set at the intimate Fillmore at Irving Plaza last night (Jun. 19) in New York. The show coincided with the release of their new album, “Icky Thump,” but featured a host of songs from the Stripes’ back catalog.
Jack White was in good spirits, offering up guitar solos when he could, aborting a couple of songs before they got going and even encouraging the crowd to sing the verses to “Apple Blossom” while he and drummer Meg White played the music.
White didn’t say hello until about 20 minutes in, when he abandoned the Dolly Parton-penned “Jolene” after one verse. As the crowd erupted, the Stripes launched into a raucous “Hotel Yorba” that eventually segued into the opening chords of “I Think I Smell a Rat.” White then proceeded to tease numerous songs at length, including “Jack the Ripper,” “Astro” and the Dick Dale tune “Misirlou,” before kicking in the vocals.
White is augmenting numerous songs with a keyboard (presumably brought along to help with the “Icky Thump” tunes) but he isn’t limiting its use to new material. “In the Cold, Cold Night” and “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” both benefited from what appeared to be improvised keyboard arrangements.
Of the new songs, lead single “Icky Thump” sounded best in the small venue, with Meg’s bass drum pounding especially loud, and White taking his vocals in a much different direction than on the record. A drawn-out, bluesy “I’m Slowly Turning Into You” also convinced the audience the new songs can hold their own.
The White Stripes will play Los Angeles tonight at the now defunct flagship Tower Records store in Hollywood. The band’s official summer tour gets underway on June 24 in British Columbia.