Concert Review: Jack White at Deer Lake

In support of his latest album, Lazaretto, Jack White took to the stage at Vancouver’s Deer Lake Park. His latest effort has entered the record books for being the best selling vinyl record in 20 years and for having the shortest release time in history (less than 4 hours from recording to packaging).

Thanks to the former and Jack White’s notable credentials (the White Stripes, the Dead Weather and the Raconteurs), I was eager to see what all the fuss was about. Having never seen Jack White perform, in a band or solo, I was advised that he wasn’t much of an interactive performer; instead, he lets the music speak for itself. Speaking of advice, Jack was advised by doctors to delay the tour after he sprained his ankle nearly a week ago in San Francisco; but Jack White does what he wants and that means no delays. Furthermore, music tradition suggests that when touring in support of an album, you shall focus on said album; but Jack White does what he wants and last night’s performance was a showcase of White’s prolific creativity.

After an entertaining performance by Curtis Harding, Jack White entered the stage sporting his new haircut (semblance to the 50’s Greaser look) and a 5-piece supporting band. Once on stage, the band played the instrumental song, High Ball Stepper, as the opener. Roaring, thunderous and very experimental are a few adjectives that come to mind; but have a listen to the studio version of the track then multiply that sound by 10 to hear what we heard.

I found the first half of the show to be a showcase of Jack White’s musical creativity. Songs ranged from his folksy-blues roots to the garage-rock that brought him to fame. In short, it was his unique version of Americana. Having said that, the first half of the performance was confusing but inventive and somewhat entertaining.

In my opinion the second half became more structured and focused. The former may not speak to some fans who appreciate watching Jack White + supporting band churn out creativity but it spoke to me in the way I like to hear things. Jack White ended the pre-encore playlist with, Steady as she goes. The rendition of the Raconteurs track didn’t display Jack’s best vocal talents but it was a great performance. Furthermore, Mr. White didn’t disappoint when him and his band came back for a six song encore. I stood in awe when I heard the lyrics and melodies of Would you fight for my love. The track was one of the few, Jack White played from his Lazaretto album and was a clear indicator of his musical progression from the Jack White we knew of the White Stripes to the Jack White that came on stage last night.

It’s not enough that I love you
There’s all these things I have to prove to you
You use the sun to erase the past
But you think it only raises for you

– from Would you fight for my love by Jack White

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