Tag Archives: Concert

Experience of Jack White Live at Merriweather Post Pavillion (September 14, 2014)

Related Posts: October 2010: VAMPS at Roseland Ballroom, NYC and Experience of SPX 2014.

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Out of the blue, my childhood friend Kristen’s mother Carla invited me to come with them to a Jack White concert! They had an extra ticket since Kristen’s husband Matt had no idea who White is and wasn’t particularly interested in going. I, on the other hand, was freaking out! I’ve been a White Stripes/Jack White fan since 2001 and have always wanted to see them/him live. At first, I wasn’t sure if I could go since I was busy with SPX, but my mom agreed to cover my table for a few hours so I could (Thanks again, mom!).

Even though I don’t own a record player, I’ve been coveting White’s Lazaretto Ultra LP — a unique vinyl with everything from hidden tracks to something called dual-groove technology, to amazingly a hand-etched hologram (more information here)!!! So I was very excited to pick up a copy of my own at the concert venue (even though the people selling them had no idea what they were).

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To my surprise, the opening act was Olivia Jean, lead singer of The Black Belles who’s starting her solo career. I guess I should have known she would be there since she’s under White’s record label Third Man Records, but it was a pleasant surprise nonetheless. She played mostly songs from her upcoming album Bathtub Love Killings, which comes out October 14th. I was ecstatic because the one and only song from The Black Belles’s self-titled album she played was my favorite entailed “Not Tonight”:

Nursing the lies that make you bold
By deterring everything you’re told
And now you’re using mercy as bait
To catch a chance to compensate

Well I’m not going down like this
Not here, not now, not tonight

Treated my troubles as your own
Walked right into my burning home
And as you watch the flames arise
I sweep up ashes you expect a prize

Well I’m not going down like this
Not here, not now, not tonight

And now you realize you’ve threatened
All the sympathy you ain’t getting
Cover you tracks and leave no trace
Strap a mask on your face

Cause I’m not going down like this
Not here, not now, not tonight

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Jack White’s performance was absolutely inspiring! He’s the kind of artist who needs to be seen live. He had such amazing energy and was flying all over the stage. You could also tell he had immense respect for the talented musicians in his band. He was sporting his new haircut (Kristen and Carla barely recognized him at first) and a dapper suit that he sweated through almost immediately. He had some issues coordinating with one of the roadies, which provided some unintentional comedic relief. The concert took place in a surprisingly intimate setting (I didn’t know the Merriweather Post Pavillion is relatively small) and featured a wonderful balance of old and new songs.

1. “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”: I was delighted to hear this White Stripes classic as the opening of the show! I always think of Michel Gondry’s music video with footage eerily projected across the walls as White wanders through the  various rooms of a house in London. “If you can hear a piano fall / you can hear me coming down the hall…”

2. “High Ball Stepper”: This is a very fun song live and the audience seemed really into it. :)

3. “Lazaretto”: This very funky single was great to hear live. “And like the dough I don’t fall down / I’m so Detroit, I make it rise from the ashes…”

4. “Alone in My Home”: One of my favorite non-single songs from Lazaretto! An upbeat song about a haunted house, or maybe its the singer who’s haunted? “Lost feelings of love / Lost feelings of love / That hover above me…”

5. “Hotel Yorba”: This was the first White Stripes song I ever heard. Personally, I’m not at all into country and/or folk music, but I can almost stand it when it’s Jack White.

6. “Temporary Ground”: My other favorite non-single song from Lazaretto!

On a floating lily island
Moving over slowly sideways
Rested temper and the creatures
Spending all of their days

Praying for the floor to
Buckle down below their belts
Crashing into yet another
Drifting continental shelf

Moving without motion
Screaming without sound
Across an open ocean
Flying there on temporary ground

The old explorers had it easy
They discovered nothing new
But returned on home with answers
Of sad existent clues

All the creatures have it hard now
Nothing but god is left to know
And while he left us all here hanging
We’re barely losing off our home

Moving without motion
Screaming without sound
Across an open ocean
Flying there on temporary ground

7. “Cannon”: This is the intro for “Another Way To Die,” the song White wrote for the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace. I always forget about that song…

8. “I Think I Smell a Rat”: This was a great treat since my mom and I occasionally sing this to each other.

9. “I Cut Like a Buffalo”: I’m not particularly familiar with The Dead Weather, but I plan on fixing that when I have a chance.

10. “Blunderbuss”: I’m honestly not that familiar with this song. Clearly, I need to go out and buy a copy of White’s first solo album Blunderbuss.

11. “Three Women”: This is the catchy opening song of Lazaretto. “Lordy Lord / Lordy Lord / Lordy Lord / Lordy Lord / Lordy Lord / Lordy Lord / Lordy lordy lordy Lord…”

12. “Missing Pieces”: Another reason to buy Blunderbuss. “I woke up and my hands were gone, yeah / I looked down and my / legs were long gone / I felt for her with my shoulder / But there was nobody there…”

13. “I’m Slowly Turning Into You” (first half of the song): Somehow I do not own the Icky Thump album either. I think I own all The White Stripes albums except for that one.

14. “Top Yourself”: I’m also not particularly familiar with The Raconteurs, but I plan on also fixing that when I have a chance.

15. “I’m Slowly Turning Into You” (second half of the song)

Encore

16. “Icky Thump”: “White Americans, what? / Nothing better to do? / Why don’t you kick yourself out? / You’re an immigrant too?”

17. “Sixteen Saltines”: I admit, I was screaming and jumping up and down when this song started. “I’m hungry and the hunger will linger / I eat sixteen saltine crackers then I lick my fingers…”

18. “Love Interruption”: This is such a brilliant song. “I want love to: walk right up and bite me, / Grab a hold of me and fight me, leave me dying on the ground.”

19. “We’re Going to Be Friends”: Another classics from The White Stripes. It always makes me think of Napoleon Dynamite.

20. “Would You Fight for My Love?”: This is by far my favorite Jack White single and it was absolutely amazing live!!!

It’s not enough that I love you
There’s all these things I have to prove to you
You use the sun to erase the past
But you think it only raises for you

Well I’m afraid of being hurt that’s true
But not afraid of any physical pain
Just as I am always scared of water
But not afraid of standing out in the rain

The last person in the room she hugged
Was the person that she loved the most
Nobody noticed that I was down on the rug
I’m getting better at becoming a ghost

I know that you want more
But would you fight for
My love

And I’ve hurt you before
But can you ignore
My love

You’re walking out my back door
Looking back for
My love

I know that you want more
But would you fight for
My love

People do their best to not let passion begin
It’s dead before it has a chance to start
And so then there I am, the caretaker of sin
To your abandoned and malignant heart

It’s such a pleasure, to sing with you together
Making love when there is nobody home
But I can’t kiss you ’til you lift up your chin
You have to want to stop being alone

I want you to fight for
My love
I want you to fight for
My love
I want you to fight for
My love

21. “Just One Drink”: Another fun song, upbeat with a tinge of classic Jack White melancholy. :) “You drink water, I drink gasoline / One of us is happy, one of us is mean / I love you, honey, why don’t you love me?”

22. “I Fought Piranhas”: “Well you know what it’s like/ i don’t got to tell you / who puts up a fight / walking out of hell now / when you fought piranhas / and you fought the cold / there’s nobody with you / and you’re all alone…”

23. “Seven Nation Army”: The real crowd pleaser! I was over the moon! Such an iconic song! The perfect way to end an exceptional concert!

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Copyright 2014 by G. E. Gallas


October 2010: VAMPS at Roseland Ballroom, NYC

I can’t believe it’s already been two years since I saw VAMPS in New York City. I made so many great friends in line, and I still communicate with them via Facebook today! –G. E.

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Waiting for Hyde:

Curiosity Killed The Average New Yorker

It was 7 in the morning when a skinny, middle-aged woman in a tracksuit jogged up to us and asked “What are you guys waiting for?”

Carey, one of many fellow fans I had met for the first time that very morning, asked her friend Shannon to hand her the signs. After receiving the pile of lined paper from Shannon, Carey proceeded to display the first page to the skinny woman. In crude Sharpie marker, the sign read:

We are here for VAMPS.

After staring at the words for a moment with a confused expression on her face, the skinny woman responded by asking, “What is that?” Carey tucked the first page behind the others to reveal the second sign.

They are a Japanese rock group!

“VAMPS” is the popular side-project band of Japanese rock star Hyde. In Japan, “Hyde” has been a household name for over a decade.

Hyde’s major band, L’Arc~en~Ciel, keeps busy dishing out one hit single after another and playing Tokyo Dome (a venue with more than twice the capacity of Madison Square Garden) for the umpteenth time. This year, the band celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Hyde performing at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City.

Although Hyde doesn’t sport fame in the United States equivalent to that of bands like Green Day per se, his fame among American Japanophiles is enough to earn VAMPS a spot in the 2009 Vans Warped Tour and a 2010 World Tour including four concerts across America.

On Saturday, October 9th, I attended VAMPS’s concert at The Roseland Ballroom in New York City.

After reading the second sign with an increasingly confused expression on her face, the skinny woman asked “How long have you all been here?” Carey revealed the third sign.

Yes, we’ve been here ALL DAY.

VAMPS fan Carey and her signs.

My friends thought me insane for heading over to the venue at 5 in the morning. But I knew better. By the time I got to Roseland, there was already a block filled with VAMPS fans standing in line for the 8 p.m. concert.

By “standing,” I mean fans huddled in blankets, sleeping sprawled out on the dog-piss-covered Manhattan sidewalk.

Chatting in line, I could tell that these fans were truly dedicated.

According to Josh (a friendly, chubby VAMPS fan dressed in a kangaroo costume for some unknown reason), some fans had been waiting in line since Wednesday.

Many had come in from Syracuse, Connecticut and the like. Some – such as die-hard fan Mayline – had flown all the way from faraway places – in Mayline’s case, Puerto Rico – just for the concert. Mayline had even lied about a death in the family just to get time off work.

The skinny woman, confused as ever, continued asking questions. And for every question, Carey had a pre-made sign with the corresponding answer. “7 in the morning, and Carey was already an expert at this,” I thought to myself. “Only 13 hours to go.”

Taxi drivers stopped at the light would shout out their windows at us. We would shout back and, once the light turned green, they would drive away still chuckling.

Tourists stood with their cameras snapping pictures of us. Fans in line would retaliate with their own cameras. Upon seeing cameras flashing in their direction, the tourists would flee.

Theater-goers would ask us, “Is this the line for Jersey Boys?” or “Is this the line for Promises, Promises?” They would leave moping about how young people don’t appreciate Broadway anymore.

Sometime during the afternoon, the VAMPS American tour manager came around and handed out flyers with Hyde’s face on them. We figured the flyers would make our lives easier, a visual tool to show curious passersby.

VAMPS World Tour official flyer.

Unfortunately, the flyer just seemed to confuse people more.

Around 5 p.m. and about the gazillionth curious passerby, VAMPS fans in line started getting fed up with all the questions. Down the line, we started hearing people walking past, complaining, “Why didn’t anyone tell me there was a Justin Bieber concert today?”

By that time, the VAMPS line must have already reached the Letterman Show a few blocks up. I can only imagine the kind of hell that part of the line was getting. “What, you’re not here for Letterman? What’s wrong with you?”

After all her questions were answered, the skinny woman seemed disappointed. As she jogged away, she sighed, “Okay then, enjoy yourselves.” She didn’t even stop to read Carey’s last sign:

Thank you for your time! :)

Perhaps the skinny woman would have been less disappointed if Carey’s first sign had read “Bette Midler.”

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2012: L’Arc~en~Ciel went on to become the first Japanese band to headline Madison Square Garden. The “WORLD TOUR 2012 LIVE at Madison Square Garden” concert DVD will be released December 26th.

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


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