Metallica's James Hetfield recently stated that the band was in the final process…
- Posted on Jul 16th 2010 6:30PM by Jonathan Dekel
Showcasing his sometime-Raconteurs brethren bassist Jack Lawrence and guitarist Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age with his newest female foil, Alison Mosshart of the Kills in the rather small confines of the Horseshoe tavern, White took it upon himself to ease his fans into the Dead Weather, presenting the group as a sweaty, dirty blues band in a venue made for sweaty, dirty blues bands.
One year and two albums later, the Dead Weather have become a monster pillar in White's musical empire. Playing at the oversized and sonically underwhelming Sound Academy in Toronto on Thursday, the group, still dripping with the creative juices that spawned their second album, 'Sea of Cowards,' a mere 10 months after their debut, were nearly formulaic in their set.
Whereas a year ago, the sight of Mosshart flinging herself to-and-fro mercilessly to White and Laurence's hypnotic pounding rhythms seemed novel, the act seemed forced and expected on this third visit to Toronto in 13 months. Luckily for White and company, what's predictable for them is still better than most other touring band's finest improvisations.
The band is "constantly battling preconceptions" about White and his role in the group, as the mastermind revealed to Spinner earlier this week. Though he does share vocal duties with Mosshart on several tunes, the renowned musician chose mostly to stay behind his drum kit, letting Mosshart and Fertita bark blistering hot riffs and animalistic vocal spurts at each other.
When he did decide to address the audience, White took to entertaining them with jokes, telling fans from [Toronto suburb] Mississauga they owed him money, those from Newfoundland that they owed him a pair of shoes and anyone from P.E.I. that he expected an overdue library book from them.
White's charm and jovial demeanour created a relaxed atmosphere for the rest of the group, allowing some of the tighter material from 'Sea of Cowards' a little room to breathe -- most notably lead single 'Die by the Drop.'
For all the talent on the stage, the night's biggest cheer was still reserved for White's emergence from behind his drums for set closer 'Will There Be Enough Water?' He strapped on a guitar and shared vocal duties with Mosshart on a single microphone -- in the process creating the first instance of genuine tension of the night, which climaxed with White's squealing guitar solo.
Though the band would encore with a blitzkrieg of 'Blue Blood Blues,' 'Jawbreaker' and crowd favourite 'Treat Me Like Your Mother,' their vigour failed to translate through the venue's bland, sound swallowing walls, proving once again that sometimes, going bigger does not necessarily make a band better.