“Alright, Detroit. Do you still feel good?” Jack White asked fans at the city’s Masonic Temple Theatre toward the end of his Supply Chain Issue Tour opening concert Friday night. “Lord knows I feel good right now.”
And that was for many reasons.
White started the day by releasing his fourth solo album, Fear of the Dawn — the first of two due out this year. In the afternoon he and his quartet played a rustic, slide guitar-led instrumental version of “The Star Spangled Banner” at his beloved Detroit Tigers’ home opener and in the evening he played a cracking good rock show.
And got engaged and married with 15 minutes of each other.
So when White declared “What a day today has been!” it was no understatement.
It’s hard to do much better than surprise nuptials, of course, which is just what happened at the end of Friday’s main set. White and company were tearing through a rendition of the White Stripes’ “Hotel Yorba” with his girlfriend, former Black Belles member Olivia Jean, guesting on guitar. During a mid-song breakdown White said he had a question to ask her and pulled out an engagement ring. She said a tearful “yes” as they embraced just before breaking into the song’s final verse, in which White sang “Let’s get married / In a big cathedral by a priest / ‘Cause if I’m the man that you love the most / You could say ‘I do’ at least.” He finished by carrying Jean, a fellow Detroit native, off the stage.
What do you do for an encore? Get married, of course. As keyboardist Quincy McCrary and drummer Daru Jones provided some instrumental fanfare, White, 46, and Jean, 32, returned to the stage accompanied by his mother, Teresa. “It’s been such a beautiful day, I figure why don’t we do this right now and get married.” He asked his mother and Jean’s father, who was being hustled out of the audience, for their blessings, and then the fans. White’s Third Man Records partner Ben Swank — ordained, he said, by the Universal Life Church Ministry of America — conducted the vows and bassist Dominic Davis served as White’s best man.
After exchanging wedding bands and a big kiss, White went back to work with the Raconteurs’ “Steady, as She Goes,” whose first lyrics advise “Find yourself a girl and settle down.”
It was a stunning addition to a night that was already eventful, maintaining White’s reputation as a fierce live performer whose broad tastes and idiosyncrasies serve him, and his music, so enormously well. When he proclaimed early on at the Masonic, long his preferred Detroit venue, that “everyone in the band is on fire” and that “the room…feels electric,” they sounded like commands as much as observations and were easy to follow.
Emerging from behind a blue ruffled curtain and playing on a stage built up on the main stage — with a statue of the moonlit dude from Fear of the Dawn’s cover at the rear of the stage and a wall-size video screen showing close-ups of the action — White and the band kicked off the 90-minute, 15-song show with a face-melting “Taking Me Back.” They followed with Fear of the Dawn‘s title track, the only two tracks played from that album. The group also played “Love Is Selfish” from the upcoming Entering Heaven Alive (due July 22), but spent most of the show surveying White’s glorious past.
Starting with “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”, the quartet played a half-dozen White Stripes songs; White — sporting a black jacket with blue stars, a striped shirt, black pants and blue tennis shoes that matched his dyed, short-cropped hair — dedicated “We’re Going to be Friends” to his mother and “Ball and Biscuit” to first wife and Stripes bandmate Meg White. He also performed the Raconteurs’ soulful “You Don’t Understand Me” for the first time ever in his solo shows and nodded to the Dead Weather with a stomping “I Cut Like a Buffalo.” He treaded lightly on the rest of his solo output, with just “Love Interruption” from 2012’s Blunderbuss and the title track from 2014’s Lazaretto, while the aching cover of U2’s “Love Is Blindness” seemed even more appropriate after what transpired later in the evening.
White and the band finished, as usual, with “Seven Nation Army,” the sold-out crowd chanting its riff even after the group members put down their instruments and took a final bow, ending what was truly a feel-good day for all parties.
White continues the tour with another show Saturday in Detroit and global dates booked into September, including festival appearances in Japan, Spain and France.
Jack White, Masonic Temple Theatre, Detroit, Mich., April 8, 2022
1. “Taking Me Back”
2. “Fear of the Dawn”
3. “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” (The White Stripes song)
4. “Love Interruption”
5. “Love Is Selfish”
6. “I Cut Like a Buffalo” (The Dead Weather song)
8. “Love Is Blindness” (U2 cover)
9. “We’re Going to Be Friends” (The White Stripes song)
10. “You Don’t Understand Me” (The Raconteurs song)
11. “I’m Slowly Turning Into You” (The White Stripes song)
12. “Ball and Biscuit” (The White Stripes song)
13. “Hotel Yorba” (The White Stripes song, with Olivia Jean)
14. “Steady, as She Goes” (The Raconteurs song)
15. “Seven Nation Army” (The White Stripes song)
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