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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 29 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 35
Jack White looks and sounds sexy at the Paramount
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Jack White looks and sounds sexy at the Paramount

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

JACK WHITE
PARAMOUNT THEATRE
August 26


I probably shouldn't compare Jack White to Michelangelo, and I won't. But there's no doubt that his Tuesday night performance at the Paramount Theatre, the second of two sold out concerts in Seattle, was a stroke of genius. He's an expert guitarist, a brilliant songwriter of modern rock, a singer with an interesting and impressive vocal range, and a classy, captivating showman.

At 8:45 p.m., the curtain dropped simultaneously as he struck the first chords of 'Fell in Love with a Girl,' a track by The White Stripes. There was no time to prepare for his entrance; he was already positioned at front and center of the stage wailing away. All we could do was scream, or clutch our fists in the air, or lose our shit.

He's no fashion slacker either. White appeared stylish in dark-colored dress pants with matching button-down shirt with ivory-toned loafers and suspender straps hanging down to his hamstrings instead of over his shoulders. Completing the snappy look was a cropped head of hair swept to the side with neatly trimmed sideburns. He was hot; trust me.

Mixing songs from his solo catalog, as well as music from various side projects, the crowd ate up everything he did. There were fans present who knew every lyric to every Jack White track; they passed the test easily at the Paramount by mouthing each word to everything he played, including several numbers from his newest release, Lazaretto, like a feisty rendition of 'High Ball Stepper,' a sleek version of 'That Black Bat Licorice,' and one of the evening's highlights, 'Three Women,' where he sat at the piano.

'You let us know when it's time to go,' said White to his admirers. On the previous night, he reportedly performed a longer set with close to 35 songs.

The show was a high-energy blend of rock, western and rockabilly selections, some of them original pieces and others covers, such as a country-fried delivery of Hank Williams' 'You Know What I Know' that featured White strumming an acoustic guitar and one of his band members plucking a silver-coated double bass. I was also delighted with his Southern-flavored re-do of James Booker's 'Papa Was a Rascal.'

'I Cut Like a Buffalo,' from The Dead Winters' 2009 debut Horehound, was really fiery and had White leading the audience in a loud round of handclaps. People in the mezzanine and upper balconies were cheerily standing and clapping as well. He ended the main set with an extended version of The Raconteurs' 'Steady As She Goes' that featured a snippet of The Chantays' 'Pipeline' and a microphone-less White getting everyone to yell out the third verse. It was dedicated to Eddie Vedder, who was at the side of the stage.

White switched shirts for an encore, now wearing a black tee-shirt. He ripped into 'The Hardest Button to Button,' then followed with the instrumental 'Lazaretto' and squeezed in another album title track, 'Blunderbuss,' before climaxing with a power-packed rendition of 'Seven Nation Army,' which has become somewhat of an anthem at baseball and soccer stadiums around the world, and used by many college bands during intermission at basketball games. The only biggie omitted on Tuesday was 'I'm Shakin'.'

If you've never seen Jack White in concert, you're missing the experience of watching a master craftsman at work. I'm sure he's good at a few other things, but it's hard to imagine the Detroit-born musician doing anything else. He's a man of many talents, and the only place to truly see these talents unfold is on stage.

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