April 22, 2022

Jack White played Barclays Center

Jack White brought his rambunctious and almighty rock and roll to Brooklyn's Barclays Center and helped reunited Be Your Own Pet in the process.

Aside from a secret warm-up show the night before, it had been fourteen years since Be Your Own Pet had played a gig, but when they took the stage to open for Jack White, you'd never guess they'd been away at all. Their brazen, amplified punk went on full steam ahead with their whiplash riffs and eccentric front women Jemina Pearl leading the charge as they blasted away through songs from their excellent but often forgotten catalog. Playing to a massive arena as a relatively unknown band is a tough gig, but to do so for your first show in fourteen years must be an incredible challenge, but nevertheless these four raged on through a tight set of gnarly in your face garage rock that felt like a trip back in time. Their energy was just as explosive as it had been during their original run and the band only intensified as the night progressed. Pearl wasted no time pushing the pedal to the metal and ran across the stage with serious vigor, thrashing away as her band tore into their hits proving her tenacious attitude is still a serious force to be reckoned with. "Adventure" brought some surf rock swagger and pop flash to their otherwise dirty rock and roll, but it was their epic closer of "Bicycle Bicycle, You Are My Bicycle" which assured that they were seriously back in business and ready to take on the world once again. With her hair flying all over her face, her attitude was mighty and for forty-five minutes, the band played like they never took a break. Hopefully, this is the sign of more to come!

As the lights went out, the massive blue curtain that hid the stage lit up from behind to reveal towering shadows of a band furiously queuing up quite a racket. Like the start to a new, cutting edge, rock and roll circus, drums, bass, and keys blasted together a wall of sound as a main figure emerged centerstage. The curtain rose to reveal Jack White amidst a slew of electric guitars, all decked out in matching blue sparkles, backed by a trio of killer musicians. Taking to the microphone, he stood in the middle of the stage with has band noticeably behind him and surveyed the crowd as he began to bash out echoing riffs of pure rock and roll. This was his show and he was here to conquer. Instantly, he tore into "Taking Me Back," the lead single from his latest album (the first of two promised for 2022), and immediately took control of the night as he lashed out ridiculous licks and monstrous solos that without question certified him as the true king of modern rock and roll. Pulling out all the stops, White aggressively whipped out stunning solos that sent shockwaves across the arena as he raced back and forth across the stage, making sure the crowd never slipped from the palm of his hand. He ripped into "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" and got the crowd amped up for the first sing-a-long moment of the night before shredding into the underrated, but roaring, "I Think I Smell a Rat" from his breakout with Meg, White Blood Cells. Jack's insane talent is a marvel to witness and he knows just what his crowd has come to see so he never lets up, constantly moving around the stage to pull random tricks out of his sleeve. Always with a flashy trick to catch you when you least expect it. He's a restless person as you can tell from his incredible recorded output and watching him own the stage is never something to miss. Following more eccentric rock tracks like "Lazaretto" and another White Stripes gem, "Black Math," he moved over to the piano to play the Raconteurs song "You Don't Understand Me." From here, the night took a slight turn as he played newer acoustic numbers, and while they were great signs from his next album, it was clear the crowd was anxious for him to pick back up his axe to electrify us once again with his absurd talents. He resurrected the night with a crushing version of "Catch Hell Blues" (a deep cut, but absolute favorite of mine) which took things to another level of intensity as he took the wailing guitar to new heights only to keep the momentum going with "I'm Slowly Turning Into You," a song where you could feel the righteous blues just pouring out of his amps, his freakish howl coming into full view as he unleashed it on the crowd with much fanfare. Coming back for the encore, White wasted no time and stuck straight to the hits. "Icky Thump" got the crowd pumped once again as the raw chords carried out over the audience with sensational passion just before he launched into a hectic, but stunning "Sixteen Saltines" that annihilated everything in sight. White is an epic showman and a true rock star and he reaffirms it every time he takes the stage. Sure, his latest solo records might not receive the same praise as those from his former band, but watching him on stage is truly like watching a god descend to Earth, us mere mortals so lucky to see such talent in front of our very eyes. He spoke very little to the crowd, but when he did the response was thunderous and when he asked for everyone to sing back to him, we did with immense passion. "Steady As She Goes" was another barn burner of a track that let him continue to impress with his lavish skills plus call and response from the audience, but it was the closer that brought the house down. There aren't many anthems known the world over that unite crowds with a single, triumphant chant, but "Seven Nation Army" is truly a song that transcends boarders and cultures. It's brought together incredible masses of people and hearing it live is never something that will cease to amaze. "You've been incredible and I've been Jack White" he said before taking a final bow of the evening just before the curtain fell back to the ground to ceremoniously end the evening. There really is no one else quite like him, he's a true character who puts on a real rock and roll show, and he knows it. Luckily for the rest of us, he is really great at playing that character and sharing his unwavering talent is something everyone should be able to experience once. 

Set list:

01 "Taking Me Back"
02 "Fear of the Dawn"
03 "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground"
04 "I Think I Smell a Rat"
05 "Love Interruption"
06 "You Don't Understand Me"
07 "Love Is Blindness" [U2 cover]
08 "Hi-De-Ho"
08 "High Ball Stepper"
09 "Black Math"
10 "The Same Boy You've Always Known"
11 "Love Is Selfish"
12 "Queen of the Bees"
13 "Lazaretto"
14 "Cannon"
15 "Catch Hell Blues"
16 "What's the Trick?"
17 "I'm Slowly Turning Into You
18 "Icky Thump"
19 "Sixteen Saltines"
20 "I Cut Like a Buffalo"
21 "Steady, as She Goes"
22 "Seven Nation Army"

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