The gorgeously restored Kings Theatre in Flatbush Brooklyn hosted the first of two Jack White shows on a freezing November,16th. White and company are wrapping up their world tour for his most recent release, Boarding House Reach, with a pair of Brooklyn shows and a homecoming in Nashville and while the band has played everywhere from Halifax to Poland there was clearly still gas in the tank on this night.
Opening with a noisy jam which bled into “Over and Over and Over” the five-piece (Carla Azar on drums, Quincy McCrary and Neal Evans on keys and Dominic Davis on bass with White on guitar) pounded out the headbanger to a rapturous ovation. Other newer tracks were less successful like “Why Walk A Dog?” but the band was clearly as happy to play more open jams like “Corporation” as old standbys like “Hotel Yorba”.
An early highlight arrived with “Love Interruption” which found White switching from acoustic to electric and seamlessly segueing into “Cannon” which contained pieces of “Rumble”, ” Gimme Back My Wig”, and “Outlaw Blues”. His tune written with Danger Mouse “The Rose WIth The Broken Neck” was a bit of a downer but White performed a show-stopping maneuver with a delicate acoustic showing of “Same Boy You’ve Always Known” that was completely engrossing.
The band wrapped up their main set with “Respect Commander” and the spotlight needs to shined upon that Azar who was a whirlwind all night on the drums. White has always interacted with his drummers with deep emotion (Meg White in the White Stripes was his muse, Daru Jones added the funk, Patrick Keeler is his motor city motor) but few have been his equal on the level of Azar. Pounding with precision, overwhelming with style, Azar was magnetic and equal to the task of matching rock star White who came over and tossed off her cymbals as the tune wrapped up.
The six-song encore paired old with new as “Icky Thump” and “Freedom at 21” had the crowd singing along while “Connected by Love” and “Ice Station Zebra” got theatrical and grooving. It was the simplistic “Doorbell” however that proved most memorable as White sat down on a separate drum kit and played, matching beats then zigging and zagging with Azar to excellent effect.
Wrapping up the night with “Seven Nation Army” White and crew had given the Brooklyn sold-out audience a blast of rock and roll which touched on funky electronica and old-fashioned acoustic six strings. While the Boarding House Reach tour is close to its end the audio effects will live on.