This show was like being in Jack and Meg's basement while they practiced. The audience never sat down. This show was an excellent snapshot of what it's like to live in Detroit and want to be successful in music.
USA (Detroit), October 2, 2005
unregistered, on october 03, 2005 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Jack's singing is Jack singing. I'd hate to ruin it for anyone but the guy's singing reminds me of a rock 'n' roll emo Phillips sometimes. I try to put the image out of my head but, admittedly, it drifts back occasionally. The band's sound was outstanding, very well crafted. Instrumentally, the drums, guitar weren't the whole show as you might expect. Jack played piano, synths, xylo. Meg played some bongo and a little percussive bell, maracca. Very ecclectic stuff and very cool how it was delivered. I think I noted some feedback near the beginning of the show, which might have been recorded. The guitar feeding back was on the floor and sounded awfully good for just sitting there alone. Mine never sounds that good while feeding back by itself. Even if it was played back, it's acceptable. The rest of the show was clearly 2 people playing their asses off, nobody in the darkened wings, no bass player hired for the tour, etc. // 10
Perfomance: The audience never sat down. I try not to remember names of songs but can tell you I know all their songs, have all their albums, and they played everything I liked. The stage sets weren't really memorable, some fake palm trees and black and white soft scenery with palm trees on them. Lighting was minimal to match the band's sound. I would liked to have seen some psychedelic, maybe retro lighting, to be honest. This show was like being in Jack and Meg's basement while they practiced. I had to laugh frequently because it was very much like being in my basement! I play guitar like Jack, always have and never thought it was especially good. However, the way Jack and Meg put their show together and the way they work together, made this a spectacular event. This show was, in a sense, an excellent snapshot of what it's like to live in Detroit and want to be successful in music, you just strip yourself down, play all out, use whatever instruments you can pick up, and never dream that anyone might think playing a Montgomery Ward guitar might be considered uncool! // 9
Overall Impression: First, this show was their first of three nights in Detroit's Masonic Temple Theatre. For anyone that has never been to Detroit or doesn't know the city well, you must know Jack and Meg could have played the much larger, suburban Palace, the larger Cobo Arena, the open air DTE Pine Energy Knob Music Theatre, formerly Pine Knob or, as Debra Harry calls it, the "Energy Knob," or a number of other large venues in the area. But they chose to do 3 nights in a smaller theatre with upholstered seats, in a real Detroit location. This suggests a strong degree of loyalty in a largely blue collar town that Jack and Meg feel toward the venue and the city, the big stars kept the faith. This was appreciated by the audience. It isn't easy to get behind Detroit and stay there, but The White Stripes have. Second, you have to know that the place to see The White Stripes is on their home turf and the time to see them is in 2004/5. The Masonic Temple Theatre in downtown Detroit couldn't be closer to home for this band and they played as you'd expect. This band played to entertain their life long friends in the front rows as well as their life long enemies hiding in the back row, unable to resist seeing the band. Jack made note of the friends in the house and Meg gave friendly waves to her buds, as well. MWard was the opening act, though after hearing them from the lobby, I opted for the $4 beers in the Fountain Room, an identical beer at the Palace is $7.50, and oh yeah, the Palace charges $15.00 for parking. Tickets were $40, I think, plus Ticketmaster's rape charge, lube not included, plus $3 venue restoration fee, gladly paid but should have been rolled into a single ticket price. This is a band at their prime, possibly 30 seconds past prime, which only time will tell. The show was refreshingly original, incredibly cool, and well worth the money. I'd gladly go see White Stripes again, but if in Detroit; only at the Masonic Temple. // 10