Jack White and Third Man Records Present an Epic Showcase
3/17/2012 12:24:00 PM
Since announcing his solo endeavor, rumors of Jack White's SXSW appearance swirled almost incessantly. Well to a packed house last night, the rumors were finally put to rest, as White performed an almost two-hour set filled with material that spanned his various musical endeavors. Nearly 5 hours before his set was to begin, a line formed that made its way down several city blocks, proving just how much buzz surrounded his headlining showcase, at which photography and video were completely banned.
Though they got a late start, LA's Electric Guest kicked off the show, followed by Brooklyn's White Rabbits, who belted out a few tunes, including their hit "Percussion Gun." Later, billed as "John Reilly and Friends," actor John C. Reilly took the stage, joined by Becky Stark and Tom Brousseau - treating fans to a smattering of old time country songs, perfectly suited for the Nashville-based label's showcase. But who better to serve as a warm-up act for one of modern music's most noted musicans than his ex-wife? Karen Elson, the former Mrs. Jack White, was joined by her band (several of whom also double as musicians in White's side project; The Raconteurs), performing a few soulful songs, including the sexy "The Ghost Who Walks," from her debut album.
Then it was time for the big show. White came on-stage after a lengthy 45-minute setup, mirroring his exceptionally high standards. As he did on his recent 'Saturday Night Live' performance, he was joined by an all-female backing band, with backup singer Ruby Amanfu serving as backup vocals on "Love Interruption," and more. After a nearly hour-long stint that kicked off with The White Stripes' "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground," (and included songs from The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and more), he left, returning 20 minutes later with a male accompaniment primed and ready for some blues riffs and rock and roll. A decidedly rocking-er second half followed, and by the end of the night, the entirety of sixth street was filled with fans hoping just to listen in to the man of the hour. The crowd that filed out around 1:45 am was most likely exhausted, but with a powerhouse show from one of rock and roll's modern Gods, not one person complained.