Experiences Music

Jack White, Cold War Kids and My Brain on Fire

June 19, 2014
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I’ve seen a good amount of live music this year. I never saw myself as cool enough to be that person who “goes to shows,” but as it turns out, all you have to do to be that person is to buy yourself a ticket and show up at the right place at the right time.

That makes it sound like a guessing game, which it isn’t.

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Photo credit: http://jackwhiteiii.com/

Last Tuesday I saw Jack White at the Fonda. Hopefully once that statement sinks in I’ll be able to go back in time and enjoy the show as a blissful reality instead of the indigo-tinted fantasy I recall it as now. I couldn’t explain to you how much I loved Blunderbuss two years ago and how much I’m enjoying Lazaretto now not because the love is so great (it really is though) but because I’m not musically proficient whatsoever. I like hearing other people review the actual music, though, but my own review for any music is purely instinctual–as in, damn, that’s good, or no, please don’t do this to my ears. Or I could ramble about how I like the use of sound as a motif in Jack White/The White Stripes lyrics. You can take the girl out of the English major…

People are right–I do take the fun out of everything.

I know the point of seeing someone in concert is to be near them, but as someone who is the smallest person in any given room, I don’t take well to general admission. If not being able to see over the person in front of you wasn’t bad enough, there’s just less air at my level in crowds. You’re surrounded by dozens of sweaty, heaving chests and the risk of nipple-to-cheek action soars like a billion percent. When I was at Coachella trying to walk to one of the tents I had to cross the Lana Del Rey crowd and literally got stuck between people for what must’ve been half an hour but felt like eternity. Next thing you know, I was crying to ominous sound of her voice, but only because I couldn’t believe this was going to be the last thing I was ever going to hear before I got suffocated and it was all over. This is a long way of saying I really don’t mind being in the balcony at the Fonda.

I was excited as hell about seeing Jack White live and because dreams really do come true, the opening act turned out to be none other than one of my favorite bands, Cold War Kids. I hadn’t been this excited about almost anything since 30 Rock had that great Weird Al storyline. I preemptively crowned that night as the best of the year, and thankfully, it didn’t disappoint. I’ve seen Cold War Kids at the Fonda before, and when they play the crowds do this light rocking thing where they bob their heads appreciatively until “Hang Me Up to Dry” comes on and everyone freaks out.

It’s obvious I thought Jack White was awesome, right? Lots of White Stripes songs, which I have no complaints about. I’ve had a couple of friends say interesting things about the band but as I’ve mentioned, I just don’t know enough to say something that would sound like I wasn’t talking out of my ass.

“I’m in a talkative mood,” he said at the start of his set. “Please don’t mind me.”

And that was almost the only thing he said all night. Two hours for the punch line, and totally worth it.

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