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White Stripes Concert Review
The White Stripes
The Greek Theater
Los Angeles, CA

by: John Paulsen

Paulsen Home / Music Home / Entertainment Channel / Entertainment Web Guide

ALSO: Visit Eat Sleep Drink Music to post your thoughts, gripes and suggestions!

The White Stripes are in the midst of a North American tour in support of their recent album, Get Behind Me Satan. For their third show of a four-night stand at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, Autolux, a three-piece band featuring Ben Gibbard-like vocals with a much harder and moodier musical style, provided support.

The White Stripes – comprised solely of guitarist/keyboardist Jack White and his “sister” Meg White on drums – took the stage (customarily decorated in the group’s red, white and black scheme) and mowed through 29 songs in an hour and a half. Jack started out wearing a black hat with a black suit, but quickly discarded the coat. Meg wore a tight red shirt and white pants and (unfortunately) didn’t discard any clothing. The opening series of songs included a couple of selections the casual fan would know – “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” and the new single “Blue Orchid,” which featured a great guitar solo. After a blistering rendition of “Screwdriver,” Jack White bowed and left the stage – Meg, surprised, ran off after him. When the group returned to the stage, Jack said, “I thought if I faked an encore, LA would make some noise.”

The next few songs were definite crowd-pleasers – “My Doorbell,” “You’re Pretty Good Looking” and the infectious “Hotel Yorba,” which probably garnered the most crowd participation of the entire show. After a great performance of one of the better tracks from Satan, “Forever for Her,” the next several songs were more for the hard-core fans. The group rocked during “Death Letter” and a medley of “Cannon,” “Astro” and “Jack The Ripper,” but it wasn’t until the Satan bluegrass gem “Little Ghost” – with both Meg and Jack on vocals – that the crowd was fully back into the show. Next up was an acoustic performance of another fine Satan track, “As Ugly as I Seem.” After “The Union Forever,” they chose to play two cover songs – Public Nuisance’s “Small Faces” and Brendan Benson’s “Folk Singer” – before ending the main set with “The Hardest Button to Button.”

After a brief break, the duo returned for an encore and, much to the surprise of the audience, had a guest in tow – Mr. Beck Hansen. The threesome performed his excellent “Cold Brains,” during which the diminutive singer joked, “I should have worn my platforms” while he adjusted the microphone stand down to his level. Jack played piano on the next song, “The Denial Twist,” which benefited from having Beck laying down a nice baseline on bass guitar. With Beck’s departure, Jack and Meg moved into a nice rendition of “I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself” before closing the show with a cover of Leadbelly’s “Boll Weevil.”

No one can argue with Jack’s musical proficiency – the amount of music the duo is able to put forth during a live show with a total of four hands is outstanding. The show was both energetic and impressive, and Jack and Meg play off each other well, but I can’t help but wonder how much better it would have been with “Ball and Biscuit,” “Seven Nation Army,” “Fell in Love with a Girl,” “You’ve Got Her in Your Pocket,” “Jolene” or “We’re Going to be Friends” in the set list. Die-hards will no doubt scoff at a few of these suggestions, but some of these songs are what enable the White Stripes to sell out four shows at the Greek – why not play a few of them?

Set list (thanks to the posters on “The Little Room” at www.whitestripes.net):

When I Hear My Name
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
Black Math
Blue Orchid / Party of Special Things To Do / Blue Orchid
I Think I Smell a Rat
Passive Manipulation

<Fake Encore>

My Doorbell
You’re Pretty Good Looking
Hello Operator
Hotel Yorba
Truth Doesn't Make a Noise
Forever For Her
Sister, Do You Know My Name
Death Letter / Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes / Death Letter
Cannon / Astro / Jack the Ripper
Passive Manipulation
Little Ghost
As Ugly As I Seem
The Union Forever
Small Faces [Public Nuisance cover]
Folk Singer [Brendan Benson cover]
The Hardest Button To Button


Cold Brains [with Beck on acoustic guitar]
The Denial Twist [with Beck on bass]
I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself
Boll Weevil [Leadbelly cover]

Send any questions, comments or wine stories to jpaulsen@bullz-eye.com




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