So our own Jack White played a homecoming show at the Fox Theatre, and depending on your vantage point either the venue wasn't right, the crowd wasn't into it or White was being difficult. Moreso than usual.
White played to a sold-out crowd last night. He's throwing out the first pitch at a Tigers game today (we'll be on Robocop fail watch), playing another show tomorrow and going back to Nashville after.
We like Jack around these parts so we won't be too harsh. And the day-after reviews from The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press were glowing with praise:
Backed by diverse musicians who flowed easily between rock, country, blues and punk, White jammed out longer and fuller versions of White Stripes songs from all eras, including "Hotel Yorba," "Fell In Love With a Girl," "We're Going to Be Friends," "Hardest Button to Button," "Seven Nation Army," "Astro," "Icky Thump" and others. The latter kicked off an encore that contained around a dozen jams.
White is unmistakably his show's conductor — calling audibles, motioning for tempo shifts, steering the changes. But it's also that trust has been invested trust in this group of players, who had the latitude to color songs as they went, fleshing out material like the Raconteurs' "Steady as She Goes" and White's "Missing Pieces" (complete with Fats Kaplin's theremin work).
But a few observations from the audience — and it should be noted that it was referred to in both those stories — show that White was a bit uncomfortable with the crowd's energy, groaning that they weren't really into it and constantly asking if they were there to see a show.
Jack White frustrated with crowd energy? Gesturing to audience to engage as he and band kick back in.
— Freep Entertainment (@FreepEnt) July 29, 2014
Tonight Jack White seemingly got mad because the Fox Theatre crowd didn't act like a cheap festival crowd.
— J (@jamminjesse) July 29, 2014
and the kicker:
Jack White just called us all " chicken shit mother effers" under his breath. He was irate the entire show.
— Jessica Archer (@JesArcher) July 29, 2014
So what gives? White did say he was uncomfortable playing the Fox because it's a sit-down, plush-seat venue (as opposed to the Masonic Temple, the venue he saved from bankruptcy last year), but would that be enough to piss him off?
Not a ton of people tweeted about this because he asked the crowd to not use phones during the show, but if anyone else wants to weigh in, the comments are open.