The Dead Weather wowed a packed house at the Ogden Theatre Saturday night (July 17) with a stellar performance and infectious stage presence.
The band hasn’t been together even a year, yet they are one of the hottest indie buzz bands, mainly since they count wunderkind Jack White, of the White Stripes and Raconteurs, as a member.
White was in prime form Saturday night, showing jaw-dropping proficiency both on the drum kit — his main instrument for the band — and on guitar, after bassist Jack Lawrence hopped on the kit for the last several songs of the set. Seeing White shred on guitar was an eye-opening experience; he’s absurdly talented. There are few better in the rock world. He plays like no one else, notes streaming from his mind to his fingers to his guitar in an impassioned musical downpour. Watching him play, you don’t think you’re hearing Jack White’s guitar. His style is so distinctive, you think you hear White shouting angrily through his guitar.
One of the things lead singer Alison Mosshart told me when I interviewed her for last week’s feature was that she wasn’t used to being the front-woman for a band, the center of attention.
“I’m really having to direct everything to the audience and beyond that, which isn’t something I had too much practice doing,” she said. “It’s a really different thing standing in the center of the stage. At first it was incredibly terrifying, but then exhilarating and interesting because I had so much to learn.”
She sure didn’t seem shy on stage Saturday night. She slunk around the stage minx-like and growled out her trademark esoteric, vaguely sexual, vaguely threatening lyrics while pulling off typical rock-star trade moves like crouching and singing to the front row kids in the crowd, putting her foot on a monitor and bending over with an arched back to deliver the lyrics, and rocking out spastically with the mic stand in hand.
She was extremely entertaining to watch. My friends and I were at the left-most part of the stage resting our elbows on the wooden paneling, and during “I’m Mad,” Mosshart ducked under a stuffed ram’s head adorning a speaker rack and came over towards us, cackling maniacally while screaming the song’s name. She lowered herself down to our level as everyone around us started screaming and holding their hands towards her worshipfully. (Funnily enough, no one actually touched her unasked, as if they needed her permission. It was a very chivalrous crowd.) Though she could have chosen anyone, she disappointed everyone else in the crowd and reached down and ran her hand through my brother’s hair, without missing a word vocally. My brother gazed up, jaw hanging. And then as soon as it had happened, she left and returned to the center of the stage, leaving fussed hair and broken hearts behind her.
The Dead Weather put on a hell of a show. Enjoy the slideshow, and don’t miss them the next time they come out.