Jack White at Hammersmith Apollo
Jack White, former frontman of The White Stripes – now a household alternative rock name in his own right – takes to the stage at Hammersmith Apollo for the third time as part of his solo tour. Being a part of so many projects over the years, it’s no surprise that he also wanted to try his hand solo and, if the sold-out venue is anything to go by, he has succeeded.
However, one would not hear about it on social media – no bragging photos, not even a post, as all phones are removed. A clock counts down the minutes, the only way to tell the time (who even wears watches anymore?!). The crowd’s chant grows reminiscent of New Year’s Eve as the clock reaches the final ten seconds, and the singer’s arrival on stage is truly celebrated.
White opens with his latest single Over and Over and Over, the audience chiming in with the harmonies. His new album is entirely different from anything he has ever made before, and this is reflected in the performance. Armed with three microphones and a seemingly infinite selection of guitars, the musician explores the stage like a playground with the energy and passion of a child. He brings everyone back to his time with The White Stripes with hits like Canon and You’re Pretty Good Looking.
Songs such as Why Walk a Dog? and Corporation do not elicit as big a cheer as older numbers. White does not seem to mind, as he plays all tracks with equal determination. It truly feels like being in a time machine, though getting a new, unique taste of old, familiar hits. Looking the same as he did in the music video for 2001’s Hotel Yorba, he expertly performs it. He changes things up, dropping the guitar to sing a beautiful rendition of We’re Going to Be Friends.
The singer-songwriter then returns to the stage for a lengthy encore, probably pressured by the fans prematurely chanting Seven Nation Army. The audience sing an entire verse of Steady as She Goes. The whole room vibrates with energy during My Doorbell. The long, drawn out instrumentation that follows seems to be an excuse for the wild behaviour of crowd-surfing, jumping and screeching.
Of course, Jack White ends on his most notable song, Seven Nation Army, instantly recognisable to anyone with ears. The venue becomes a karaoke hall. From the performance, the crowd seem full and satisfied, and if anything else was added it would be too much.
Photos: David James Swanson
For further information and future events visit Jack White’s website here.
Watch the video for Over and Over and Over here: