About twenty minutes before Jack White took the stage at Red Rocks, a hard rain started falling and lightning flashed to the east. Fog machines on the stage were fired up and the wind was blowing the haze, tinted hues of blue from the stage lights, around. For a moment it looked the Do Lung Bridge scene in Apocalypse Now. But instead of Randy Hansen's Hendrixian guitar work as the score, Pete Rock's "I Got a Love" was pumping on Red Rocks house system. Hell, the whole scene seemed a bit surreal, and the show hadn't even started yet.
See also: Jack White at Red Rocks in 2012
Meanwhile, there was this gal Ashley, who'd flow up from Dallas for the show, and she was looking for her friends. She had a Third Man logo tattoo on her forearm and she'd seen White six times, including at the Tulsa gig last May.
She had tickets to the see the White Stripes but the show got cancelled when the duo split up. She digs White's brand new haircut (short on the sides and back), and says it reminds her of a younger White, or "Baby Jack."
Before White took the stage, one of his roadies, decked out in a suit and a fedora, stepped out on the wet stage, got on the microphone and told the capacity audience to fight the urge to take photos and post them to social media.
"I can guarantee you that whatever photo you try to take of the show, or video of the show, or the beautiful rocks, they're not going to be nearly as good as with what you can see with your real eyes," he says. "I don't know about but I hate when 10,000 people are holding their phones up. All we ask is that for two hours you leave it in your purse or pocket."
For the most part, it seemed like the crowd heeded the advice, living in moment, relying only on their eyes and brains to document the show. But no smart phone, especially with rain on the lens, could have even come close to fully capturing the epic potency of White's Wednesday night show. At one point, even White said, "If I was twenty years old I wouldn't forget this show" before launching into "Three Women." While the rain, thunder and lightning during the first half of the show clearly added a visceral element to the two-hour show, White himself seemed to fully embrace it all, powering through songs like a madman, whether from his most recent effort, Lazaretto, a few cuts from Blunderbuss, and eight White Stripes songs as well as two Raconteurs tunes.
As with his 2012 Red Rocks show, White showed just how far his scope reaches from one song to another while also digging into some mean guitar riffing, especially on "Ball and Biscuit," during which White was essentially soloing while bent over the rail in front of the stage.
Early on in the set, before launching into "Just One Drink," White made one of a few references to the rain; "Open your mouth and take a big sip," he said. On the White Stripes' "I Fought Piranhas," White dropped "rainy" in before "cold." And Would You Fight For My Love?" rang especially true when he sang, Just as I am always scared of water, but not afraid of standing out in the rain."
The crowd wasn't afraid of standing out in the rain either. The venue seemed like it was still nearly full when White and his incredibly solid band motored through "Seven Nation Army" and a group of six people, arms wrapped around each other, danced around in a circle, singing along near the aisle on the south side of the venue.
Setlist: Jack White at Red Rocks
High Ball Stepper Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground (The White Stripes) Just One Drink Hotel Yorba (The White Stripes) Temporary Ground Weep Themselves to Sleep I Fought Piranhas (The White Stripes) The Same Boy You've Always Known (The White Stripes) Top Yourself (The Raconteurs) Three Women Blunderbuss We're Going to Be Friends (The White Stripes ) Alone in My Home Ball and Biscuit (The White Stripes song) ENCORE Icky Thump (The White Stripes) Miserlou (Dick Dale Lazaretto Would You Fight for My Love? (Lazaretto) Steady, As She Goes (The Raconteurs) Suzy Lee (The White Stripes) Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes)
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