Those two words pretty much some up what I experienced last night in Detroit's Masonic Temple Theater. I must have said those two words at least thirty times. I was absolutely beside myself the entire night. At one point during the encore, it was almost like I forgot I was there watching Jack White and it felt more like a dream. The set was so long, it was easy to get lost in thought about what was happening before me. A living legend, in a legendary theater which named an adjacent theater after him, in his hometown, playing what seemed to be an every song you would want to hear that he's ever created. It was like watching Babe Ruth in Yankee Stadium in the middle of the 1927 Yankee lineup. I may just be saying all of this because I'm a rabid Jack White fan, but I think anyone who witnessed this show would at least have to slightly agree.
The show started off again with Benjamin Booker as the opening act who had the crowd much more into his vibe than he did in Pittsburgh. He played for about a half an hour to an increasingly growing crowd in the General Admission area. His garage-punk sound filled the historic theater, setting the mood appropriately for the rest of the night. After his set, the stage hands pulled White's massive powder blue curtain shut and we wouldn't see the stage until about 35 minutes later.
As we waited there, the crowd began to chant the 'Seven Nation Army' hook in anticipation of the show to start. There was an interesting feeling in the theater as if we were about to experience something special. Of course all of the elements were there and we understood this was a homecoming show, but it was more than that. I just thought he was going to blow the doors off. Around 9:35pm he did just that. He furiously came out with White Stripes classic 'Fell in Love with a Girl' and every person in place was frothing at the mouth. I suddenly felt the ground start bouncing which was insane because it was cement. He followed with self-titled album classics 'Astro' and 'The Big Three Killed My Baby'. Fitting for the city and car industry it referenced. My buddy and I turned to each other at that point and said to each other, 'holy crap'. The first of many.
After the raucous intro, he continued the fury with playing several songs of 'Lazaretto' including, 'High Ball Stepper', 'Lazaretto', 'Missing Pieces' and 'Just One Drink'. Harmonizing with Lillie Mae Rischie on the latter two. It was a perfect transition to the 'Stripes classic 'Hotel Yorba' followed by other folk and country cuts including Hank I's 'You Know That I Know', 'Love Interruption' and 'Weep Them To Sleep' in which he was on the keys for.
After a bit of a slow down, he brought pace back up with inviting his Dead Weather band mates on stage for a rousing rendition of 'I Cut Like a Buffalo' which was certainly a pleasant surprise and created a frenzy in the crowd. From there the train was rolling full speed and he just start knocking out classic 'Stripes' songs left and right. The next string of three songs was probably the best three I've ever seen live in order, which saw White go from 'Cannon' to 'Ickythump' to 'Screwdriver'. 'Screwdriver' had not yet been played on the 'Lazaretto' tour, but what better time than at that point?
He ripped through several other classics by the White Stripes and Raconteurs and covers by Hank Williams and Led Zeppelin which led to his pre-encore closer of 'Ball and Biscuit' which got the floor shaking again. It about 2 hours after he started the show when he ended 'Biscuit and we knew he wasn't going to half ass the encore. We were right.
He came back out after the break with 'Hardest Button to Button' and immediately woke the crowd back up from its intermission. He continued on playing the remainder of the songs in his deep catalog you would want to hear, with 'Sixteen Saltines', 'You Don't Know What Love Is' and 'My Doorbell'. During 'My Doorbell' he brought three young lucky girls on stage to sing along. He finished up the night on the 35th song in hour three with the expected closer of 'Seven Nation Army' which left everyone motionless.
As I mentioned, I don't know if I can go to any show again and be impressed with this show now in my archive. There is just no comparison. But then again, Jack White has no equals.
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I'm pretty pissed when we showed up at about 8pm and the gig poster was already sold out. I asked the merch table and they said they sold out within 20 minutes or so. I'm hoping to find the poster by Sleeping Giants online somewhere, but I hope I don't gouged.