Jack White at Rogers Arena, 8/12/18
It has long been documented by reviewers and fans alike that Vancouver audiences are lacking a little something. That something is usually enthusiasm. Movement.
The audience at Jack White’s show on Sunday… was one of the absolute worst.
White was shredding it onstage, in the way only he can. He began with “Over and Over and Over” from his new album Boarding House Reach. White played the guitar in a haze of blue and with a band packing raw power backing him up.
Surprisingly, Sunday night’s setlist consisted of seven White Stripes songs. This proves that despite his solo success and hard rock interludes with the dynamic The Dead Weather (bow down to Alison Mosshart), White still holds the iconic Stripes group and its songs dear.
Meanwhile, there were two possible reasons why the majority of Rogers Arena was so drab and bored-looking. One: it was a Sunday evening—everyone could have been hungover.
Two: Jack White’s show was one of those no-phone shows. Concertgoers were made to stick their phones in Yondr pouches. This meant no Instagraming photos and videos of the rocker, no texting, and absolutely no selfies. So it’s very possible that everyone was either sad about not having their phones, or simply bored without them.
Whatever the reason—and even though White definitely took notice of Vancouver’s lack of enthusiasm—he put on a stellar show. A real high point came with The Dead Weather track “I Cut Like a Buffalo.”
In between powerhouse tracks like “Freedom at 21” and “Lazaretto,” White provided everyone with some screeching and humming guitar solos. It’s easy to see how White is widely considered to be one of the greatest guitarists alive. White also accented his blue-tinted mystic by talking to the audience in a preacher voice. Epic and charismatic.
Once the encore came around, it seemed like White was holding back some songs. Any Raconteurs tracks or Stripes’ “My Doorbell” were missing, despite the fact that they have been on past setlists. Still, “Icky Thump” was enough to make people realize that, yes, that was Jack White onstage.
Finally, Rogers got on their feet when “Seven Nation Army” started. They sang along, they stomped, they STOOD UP. But White is so much more than his 2003 mega-hit. Let’s hope that next time he is back, the audience is ready to rock just as hard as he does.