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Gig Review

The Dead Weather
Toronto, Horseshoe Tavern

Article written by Chris Holten - Jun 27, 2009

Dead Weather
Dead Weather
As many were turned away from the small, grungy bar known as the Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, I was lucky enough to make my way in just in time to get a ticket to see Jack White’s latest musical “squeeze” – The Dead Weather, playing one of many “surprise” gigs around America. Most fans don’t hear or know about these gigs until days or hours before the actual show. But from the name, already the band lands a different impression in your head, thinking “What on earth is he thinking of now?”, White, known most importantly for The White Stripes, has been known to collaborate with some of the world’s finest artists such as Bob Dylan, Beck and The Rolling Stones, as well as being in the “super-group” The Raconteurs, featuring Brendon Benson, Jack Lawrence from both The Greenhomes and The Dead Weather. So could Jack White be running out of steam? I think it is safe to say no, after seeing this band play for over seventy minutes, these guys know what they are doing.

The band have the signature bluesy sound that White carries with him everywhere he threads musically, but also carry a very dark feel to their music too – which is something fresh and new to be heard from the likes of White, Alison Mosshart (The Kills), Jack Lawrence and Dean Fertita (QOTSA). Whilst the band may be producing a hefty, darker garage feel – Mosshart steals the show with her natural glamorous presence, adding that sexy femininity to the band. Her performance was surprising as she seemed a lot more comfortable on this stage, than on stage with her other chaotic band The Kills (watch this space).

The set was mainly compiled of heavy rock numbers such as “Treat Me Like Your Mother” but also had some variation too with quieter numbers such as “Will There be Enough Water?” the only song which White got up from his hiding-spot behind the drums and played guitar and sang along with Mosshart, sharing the same microphone and creating a sensual and close vibe around the room. Speaking of White being behind the drums, it must be said that he does a cracking job at playing them too. Whilst he may be one of the most famous guitarists to come out of America in the last ten years, he has proved that his talent goes beyond the six strings.

The gig however wasn’t flawless. With such a gigantic wall of sound that this band carry, a lot of the melody got lost as well as a lot of the feeling in some of the songs. Where as Alison Mosshart seemed to be getting lost within each song, Lawrence and Fertita were closer to boredom, or it seemed that way anyway. Covering Bob Dylan’s “New Pony”, it seemed more like a showcase for Mosshart’s talents as opposed to the whole band. Their encore put their show right back up however. With the band not saying a word to the crowd for the whole gig, they still managed to have fans eating out of their hands with anthem-like tunes such as “Forever My Queen” and the lead single that seems to be getting quite a lot of American and Canadian airplay, “Hang You From the Heavens”. All in all, I got to see a great performance from a band that will no doubted be huge (if not for their music, for their band members) and playing a venue near you as they embark on tour in the UK at the moment. That is of course, if you know about it!


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