"My only complaint about The White Stripes was that the band wasn't composed of two Meg Whites." Everett True said this on his (amazing!) website Collapse Board, and it was this bold statement that popped into my head as I watched Jack White perform at WAMU Theater the other night. He was backed by The Peacocks, his all-female band (when I saw him at Sasquatch a few months ago he was backed by the all-male band The Buzzards. Intent on keeping live performances as unpredictable and fresh as possible, he doesn't announce until the day of the show which of the two backup bands will be performing.) The standout player in the Peacocks was the brilliant Autolux drummer Carla Azar, her ferocious drumming scaled back a bit at times for the distinctively simple parts of the White Stripes songs, bringing to mind the Everett True quote. Even though I enjoyed the Sasquatch performance more, primarily because I was able to get up closer and get a look at what a madman he is on stage, it felt as though he had more of a connection with the Peacocks (not to mention the visually powerful sight of Jack White surrounded by these vivid musicians in light blue dresses and light blue lights).
Jack White and the Peacocks
There were rumors that he was sick, having cancelled his secret Seattle pop-up show due to exhaustion. Though the backup singer picked up more of his vocals than I expected, the nine song (!!!!) encore begs to differ. One of the best shows I've seen this year! And while I don't necessarily agree with Mr. True's assessment (although I love the sentiment!), I used to find it really annoying when people complained about Meg's ultra-minimal drumming ("What he needs is a real drummer! He's such a great guitar player!!"). His solo album is less like his other ventures in Dead Weather and The Raconteurs, and now that he has a "real" drummer, Blunderbuss feels like an extension of a White Stripes album with pro-Nashville instrumentation to back it up. It's great, but similar enough that it feels like something is missing...maybe a Meg or two?