For Vancouverites, it has been a heck of a wait.
Back in 2007, the White Stripes – the blues-infused rock ’n’ roll duo made up of Jack and Meg White on guitar, drums and vocals – kicked off an epic cross-Canada tour that touched down in every province and territory with a jaw-dropping, forest-rattling set at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby.
Seven years later, Mr. White is finally returning to the picturesque venue as a solo artist, and one whose music has only deepened and broadened in the intervening years.
The tour cuts a swath through the musician’s 15-year catalogue, from the White Stripes’ Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground and Hotel Yorba to the Raconteurs’ Top Yourself to songs from his latest solo effort, Lazaretto – among them the blistering title track, the powerhouse instrumental High Ball Stepper and the soul-infused Three Women. He also pays tribute to favourite artists by offering up covers, from Hank Williams to Beck.
In true Jack White fashion, it’s also old school: If you leave, there’s no re-entry, and Mr. White’s people ask that people keep their cellphones in their pockets and enjoy the show like their parents did when they went out to shows. (Mr. White hired a photographer for the tour, so if people need pics to post, they are made available online.)
In return, the Detroit-raised, Nashville-based rocker – who also penned Seven Nation Army, which has become a ubiquitous international sports anthem – offers a performance that’s infused with improvisation and experimentation, rather than the exact same set as the night before, and the night before that.
(He also clearly subscribes to the idea that the show must go on. Last weekend, Mr. White severely sprained his ankle at a San Francisco concert; despite a black and blue foot and the better judgment of his camp, he was back on stage the next night.)
“We don’t have a set list on stage and people in the crowd find out a few songs in that that’s what’s going on,” said Mr. White in an interview with Esquire. “I want people to understand that this is not rehearsed. This is happening. In the moment. And you’re part of it.”
Jack White plays Deer Lake Park in Burnaby on Thursday, Aug. 28.(ticketmaster.ca).