Posted by: Joey | June 15, 2009

Review: The Dead Weather @ City Block (Absolutely the last show there) 6/11

I could overhear a staff person wearing a City Block shirt say it, “This is absolutely the last show here.”

So, as far as goodbyes go, I don’t think it could have been any better than this. The Dead Weather, a side project of Jack White and his new record company Third Man Records, was accompanied by Cut In The Hill Gang to perform the last show at City Block on Thursday night. This show was unique because it was not close to the tour that The Dead Weather was about to embark on through the United States (minus a few “surprise” shows). This brought out crowds from places such as Chicago, Texas, New York City, and even Toronto . It was strange to see so many people travel all the way to Louisville for a show. Seemed for a while that I was the only local waiting in line. As I found out that the crowd up young men up front (the “Dead Heads” as their shirts implied) were waiting since 9:30 a.m., it was apparent that we were all in store for a fantastic performance.

Before everyone could see the outstanding Jack White and his new band, we all had to endure the waiting. The staff at City Block was very nice and let everyone inside around 6:00 to avoid the rain. I don’t think everyone could get in, but there were about 50 or so that were there before 6:00 and got to stay dry. In our little holding area we got the ID and wristband process out of the way to save time for the stampede to the stage. There was a slight delay and the doors had to wait until 7:30, but they were selling beer so most people did not mind waiting. Once 7:30 hit everyone was ready to bust through the ticket-ripping to get up front. It stayed fairly tame for as many people as there were.

Once everyone was inside we were all treated with the pre-show music. It started out with Joy Division which was nice to hear, but the reason I mention the opening music is because they played The White Stripes song The Hardest Button To Button. This really got the crowd ready to go, much more so than the Missy Elliot track that played later.

Cut In The Hill Gang took the stage first and promptly took control of the crowd. Johnny Walker (who White Stripes fans may know from playing slide guitar on Suzy Lee and I Fought Piranhas) blasted into the set with the song Diddey Wah. Following up was, as Johnny put it, “An old song.” The song was Sugar Never Tasted So Good and it made the Dead Heads in front go crazy. By this point I was already a fan of this band from Covington, Kentucky. The people around me kept talking up Johnny Walker and I see why now, as he tore up the stage with incredible style.  Guitar, harmonica, he could do it all, and at the same time too. Though Johnny is not the only person that was playing amazingly well. During the song Goin’ Back To Memphis he called out each band member into a solo. Guitarist Brad Meinerding was first appointed to rock the crowd with his playing. Lance Kaufman was up next with his drums, and then Johnny with his harmonica and guitar. These guys truly put on an incredible show. I overheard the woman next to me say that it would be hard to follow something like that. Definitely check these guys out as soon as you can, you will not be disappointed.

The unbearable heat, the terrible dehydration, it was all worth it as soon as The Dead Weather walked on stage.  The crowd that had been waiting all day for this moment went crazy, especially when everyone saw Jack White. Jack would be our drummer and vocals for the evening, except for one song on the guitar. Alison Mosshart from The Kills would be our lead singer,  Jack Lawrence from The Raconteurs took care of the bass playing, and Dean Fertita from Queens Of The Stone Age manned the keys and guitar.  Supergroup? All-star team? Call it what you like, but just know they were outstanding.  Even though their debut album does not come out until July 14, there were still quite a few people that knew the songs.  At a few points the crowd got a little rough, I heard stories of fisticuffs breaking out and even a mosh pit (really?), but it seemed that most people were just there enjoying the show. Even with the pointless fighting from a few, The Dead Weather was keeping everyone entranced, especially by Alison Mosshart’s singing, screaming, moving, and smoking.  She was all over the stage, and even leaned into the crowd a few times, much to the Dead Heads’ liking.

Also, as I think you may already know, Jack White can play guitar. Wait a second, change “play guitar” to “dcxwaemlrgrqpeunceyb”. Yes, you read that correctly. There are not actual words I can think of to describe how amazing it is to see Jack White perform.

Though they only played a 13 song set, everyone get their money’s worth by seeing this show. Louisville was very fortunate to have a show like this come through town. Hopefully The Dead Weather will keep Louisville in consideration for their next tour, but the chances are very good it won’t be at City Block.  R.I.P City Block, I saw two of my favourite guitarists there (Johnny Marr and Jack White), and I won’t ever forget that.

Setlists:

Cut In The Hill Gang:

  1. Diddey Wah
  2. Sugar Never Tasted So Good
  3. Cage That Tiger
  4. Soul To Waste
  5. Ray Of Love
  6. Get It In Ya
  7. Johnny’s Quixotic Dream
  8. Road Runner
  9. Goin’ Back To Memphis
  10. Gospel According To John

The Dead Weather:

  1. 60 Feet Tall
  2. Treat Me Like Your Mother
  3. Bone House
  4. You Just Can’t Win
  5. So Far From Your Weapon
  6. Child Of A Few Hours
  7. Rocking Horse
  8. I Cut Like A Buffalo
  9. No Hassle Night
  10. Will There Be Enough Water
  11. Forever My Queen
  12. Hang You From The Heavens
  13. New Pony

Video of Will There Be Enough Water:

More below the break…

Johnny Walker

Jack’s drum kit

Dean Fertita

Jack Lawrence and Alison Mosshart

The Dead Weather tri-color 7″ (only 100 pressed) that Jack passed out before he got on the bus

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