The White Stripes
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- The White Stripes »
Jack White is rolling around the stage on his back, wringing yet another electrifying riff from his guitar. Meg White tilts her head and closes her eyes in a pose of unnatural satisfaction, beating the drums like a child hitting saucepans.
It’s fair to say that, for one night only, a city more familiar with old gold has been taken over by red, white and black.
From the chaotic opening chords of 'Black Math', the baying crowd falls neatly into the cupped hands of the beaming duo, who fill a gaping stage with their mile-wide sound. 'Dead Leaves and The Dirty Ground' is greeted like the national anthem at a royalist’s convention, while the customary rendition of Dolly Parton’s 'Jolene' causes more excitement amongst the gathered throng than the country diva’s gravity-defying cleavage ever could.
Despite playing to vast audiences at last year’s festivals, The White Stripes still appear shocked at the size of the room laid out in front of them. Perhaps they’re even more surprised to find out that tonight’s performance sold out within days, but if they had any sense of perspective they shouldn’t be. As he veers between two microphones and a vintage distortion pedal, Jack White shakes his powerful frame during a rapturously received 'Seven Nation Army', coaxing out devilishly manic wails from his guitar. After the best part of two years hyped to the rafters though, he gives nothing more than is expected of him, not that that should detract from his formidable brilliance and natural ability when presented with an audience.
The moment when mouths really start to gape comes midway through the evening’s entertainment, as Meg walks to the front of the stage, placing one hand on the microphone stand and the other tantalisingly on her hip. Forget child-like innocence. She turns 'In The Cold, Cold Night' into a display of cool demureness that could only be hinted at by a fridge, before wandering back to her drum stool.
If it wasn’t for the restrictive licensing laws that leave the impeccably dressed guitar technician frantically tuning an instrument as the house lights come up, you suspect we may have been granted one last moment of gratification. But by 11pm The White Stripes have done more than enough to banish the Monday blues from Wolverhampton’s cobbled streets. The wheels on the motor city’s finest show no signs of coming off yet.
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