December 2, 2023


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Jack White shreds, unleashes career-spanning rock in GR

Firing up Van Andel Arena Sunday on the third evening of his countrywide tour, Jack White and firm shipped yet another rock display for the ages. The evaluation and photographs at Neighborhood Spins.

Jack White: From ‘Taking Me Back’ to ‘Seven Country Military.’ (Image/David James Swanson)


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Viewing Jack White these days is about as close to time travel as it receives.

Immediately after stepping inside the venue, your cell phone is sealed in a locked Yondr pouch and stored on your individual. It can only be opened in telephone kiosks positioned outdoors the arena’s primary bowl.

There are no cameras, no recording gadgets and no phones allowed. It’s a odd emotion at initially.

Your achieve for your pocket to doc a fiery guitar solo but then recognize you can’t. Or you text your friend to see when they’ll be back again with drinks, but then don’t forget they’re out going through the wilderness on their possess, at the each and every whim of concert chaos.

But soon after these inner thoughts abate, it’s truly liberating. A single significantly less issue to fear about for the night. And a little bit like time journey.

A handful of smiling lighters make their visual appeal at the suitable moments. Fans are spared from the inevitable working experience of an audience member who forgets their flash is on, can take a blinding photo, then swiftly lowers their arm to conceal the light.

I typically get notes on my telephone during the night time for the duration of live performance opinions. For Jack White at Grand Rapids’ Van Andel Arena on Sunday night time — the 3rd night of White and band’s U.S. tour — I identified myself madly scribbling on a sequence of cocktail napkins with a borrowed purple pen.

Significant Clearly show: Just like his new album. (Image/David James Swanson)

Opener Olivia Jean, the Detroit singer and guitar White proposed to and then married onstage only two days before in Detroit, garnered the to start with of my frantic scribbles.

She opened the show with a 4-piece band that blazed by a large-strength opening set with a retro, extremely-Detroit vibe.

When the dust settled, the phase fell less than a mild haze and shades of blue: blue lights, blue projections and a luxuriously ruffled blue border at the peak of the phase.

White sauntered into the arena and picked up a blue guitar. Launching into “Taking me Back” — the opening track from “Fear of the Dawn,” which was produced on Friday — White ripped by way of solo passes with easy charm, backed by a trio of equally achieved bandmates: bassist, songs director and lifelong pal Dominic John Davis, drummer Daru Jones and keyboardist Quincy McCrary.

It signaled a 23-tune night stuffed with spontaneity and rock fury.


A guaranteed spotlight was “Love Interruption,” from 2012’s “Blunderbuss,” which saw a groovy rock ‘n’ roll makeover from the recorded variation. It’s as if the as soon as mellow quantity grew its hair out, ripped its jeans at the knees and turned up the volume nob to II.

“Lazaretto” was a fireball of fuzz and distortion. Continuously relocating and ricocheting all around the phase, White stored the electrical power up and the guitar wizardry rolling.

In the course of the track, White shredded like a waiter at Olive Garden insisting on complimentary cheese, but atop a bed of rock ‘n’ roll rhythm with a facet of soul.

The remaining salvo in the band’s main established boasted the now-prophetic line, “Find by yourself a female, and settle down,” the opening line to The Raconteurs’ strike “Steady, As She Goes,” which White experienced played in Detroit when he proposed to Jean. In Grand Rapids, the vintage, enthusiast-satisfying observe was sent with a fresh and dynamic twist.

What followed in the encore ended up three White Stripes gems (furthermore “Sixteen Saltines” and “That Black Bat Licorice”) that provided the familiar finale: a sluggish burning dwell intro that led to the distinct drumbeat and nicely-regarded rhythmic dance in between guitar and bass. Fans belted every word.

Is there a far more fitting way to conclude an arena display than with a single of the songs most performed in arenas by the artist who penned it?

Cue 2003’s “Seven Nation Military,” The White Stripes anthem for the ages which is pumped through stadium speakers about the world.

The closing track rattled the arena with large guitar riffs and the sort of cruel drumming that will make you wonder if Jones had struck an before deal with the satan backstage.

Photo GALLERY: Jack White at Van Andel Arena
Images by David James Swanson (through Jack White)