The first day of Splendour is finally done and dusted (or should I say mudded) and oh what a day it was – rain, hail, shine and a fuck load of rock ‘n’ roll! I’ve just witnessed living legend Jack White at the Supertop and no words in my vocabulary seem proficient enough to describe how brilliant he was, but I’ll give it my best shot.
Staking out a prime position side of stage for a solid four-and-a-half hours before Jack White was scheduled to play, I enjoyed the likes of Spiderbait, The Shins and At the Drive In, but it was all just a warm-up for Mr White’s imminent arrival. Stage appropriately dressed in white, the anticipation was palpable.
There was nothing shy about Jack White’s performance. Bounding on stage with a bang, he paid tribute to his origins by banging out The White Stripes’ Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground. His blazing guitar solos and searing vocals instantly cast the crowd under his freak spell and for the next hour Splendour was invaded by Jack’s weird and wonderful world.
Joined by a full band donning hipster-Mormon suits with matching fedora’s in tow, his set oozed straight up swag. The overall sound was well rounded and ear melting as fuck, showcasing the harmonious union of drums, double bass, steel slide guitar, violin, tambourine and organ. Known for his multi-instrumental talents, White made full use of the stage, effortlessly hitting up the organ in between bouts of shredding his guitar.
Blue lights penetrating the tent, the bulk of his set highlighted solo album, Blunderbus. Tearing through Sixteen Saltines and Freedom at 21, latest single Love Interruption saw White ditch the hipster-Mormons and replace them with some ridiculously talented females (in all senses of the term) in identical powder blue dresses. It almost felt like he substituted Meg, equally sharing his love among his six new sister/wives.
With a back catalogue as extensive as Jack White’s, it was expected that he would relive his older material. The White Stripes were revisited with Hello Operator, Hotel Yorba and a roaring finale of Seven Nation Army that had the masses singing along long after Mr White had left the building. Much to my disappointment he didn’t do the Raconteurs justice, however his bad ass rendition of The Dead Weather’s Blue Blood Blues kept the masses satisfied.
Leaving the Splendour site in a euphoric daze, I knew one thing for sure: whether it be with The White Stripes, Raconteurs, Dead Weather or just doing his own thing, Jack White is the ultimate rock star.