Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Jun 15th 2009 1:15PM by Jonathan Dekel
As sweat flew through the inhospitably hot air, White and his newest female foil -- the Kills' Alison Mosshart -- traded double-entendre declarations over white-hot riffs inspiring the notoriously apathetic Toronto crowd to jump, jive and wail. Not to mention rush the stage to try and touch Mosshart as she baited them with her mess of wet, tangled hair.
For White, ever the blues revivalist, the palpable excitement was a testament to what he's been preaching for years. When you play the blues, it's not about the song but the depth of soul -- and baby, Jack White's got a lot of soul.
White's musical world has always consisted of a delicate balancing act between arty intentions and commercial aspirations. Inspired by under-appreciated bluesmen -- and their more successful British imitators -- White's bands rely on rich melody to guide them to success despite either their simplicity (White Stripes) or technically proficient noodling (Raconteurs).
With this latest supergroup -- featuring Raconteurs' bassist 'Little' Jack Lawrence and guitarist/organist Dean Fertita alongside the piquant addition of Mosshart -- the former upholsterer ditches catchy choruses for riff-heavy, fuzzed-out acid blues rock fueled by sexually charged bravado.
It's a direction the notoriously finicky frontman has been toying with since the White Stripes first gained international popularity, but could never fully commit to -- always relenting with a radio-ready single amongst his more difficult ditties.
To avoid this, White made two very important changes to his patented formula for the Dead Weather. He took himself out of the frontman role, returning to his first musical love, the drums. Then he inserted the raw and unstable Mosshart in his place; allowing both unpredictability and danger to reenter the equation.
Judging by the Dead Weather's Horseshoe show, one of the best live gigs Toronto has seen so far this year, White has achieved his goal. Throughout the eardrum-exploding hour, the band enthralled and energized an audience which spent most of their day waiting in line for tickets [due to scalper-avoidance efforts]. Plowing through their set -- mostly off their forthcoming 'Horehound' album -- with the zeal of a hungry young band with something to prove, White's rock steady rhythm allowed Fertita's technical mastery and Mosshart's Steven Tyler-esque stage etiquette to swell in erratic and passionate busts of brilliance.
Predictably, White remained the star attraction. Though Mosshart provides a striking, primitive sexiness that can put hair on any indie-boy's chest, it was White who stole the show by strapping on a guitar and sharing vocals with Mosshart on closing ballad 'Will There Be Enough Water.'
Clearly, White's fame is the double-edged sword Dead Weather happily flings itself upon. Though the band leaves Canada conquering heroes, proving themselves worthy of the blog hype, their soul-over-song approach means they didn't leave the lucky concert-goers humming many melodies.