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Arts and Entertainment

Dead Weather @ The Hollywood Palladium, 7/21/10

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Jack White's latest reincarnation Dead Weather played to a packed house at the Hollywood Palladium on Wednesday night. The adoring crowd clad in black freaked out every time someone with a hat crossed the stage thinking that it might be the mysterious Mr. White. When they finally did emerge the crowd lost it's mind, screaming, and cheering as if the Messiah had arrived. Bassist Jack Lawrence and guitarist Dean Fertita smiled at the crowd sheepishly, but lead singer Alison Mossheart grabbed the mic as if it was her last cigarette and inhaled.

Dead Weather is more of a feeling than a band. They have all the right elements for a bad ass rock group: sexy lead singer, mysterious bassist, talented lead guitarist, and eccentric drummer, but no matter how badly they try it just doesn't have any lasting soul. But man alive, they've got the theatrics down. With stuffed goat's heads hanging from the speakers, a giant all knowing eye glaring soberly at the crowd, and white smoke wafting across the crowd there was an air of delicious foreboding that filled the theater. Add that to Mossheart who jerked across the stage like a sexpot zombie and White's mad hatter ramblings, and you could pretend that the music was inspired.

But really, Dead Weather is the kinda show that gets you all hot and bothered and makes you want to leave with your date half way through. The entire set doesn't really matter. With heroic guitar solos, a bass line that gets your hips moving, and vocals that are really just a harsh growl accentuated by a lot of hair tossing this band has you feeling dark, hot, and grimy within the first few notes. Entranced by the music inebriated couples were dancing like demons in the back of the Palladium. Which sounds good right? Problem is it doesn't vary. Each song is a carbon copy of the one before and after an hour of the same song...it gets boring. Which is why by the end of the set the Palladium was half empty. I can only guess that the impatient crowd had dragged their lovers into closets, the nearest car or whatever else was available if they couldn't make it home.

Also the gorilla in the room was the fact that Jack White was the drummer in this band. The drummer. A man who is one of the best guitarists of our generation, plopped himself behind a drum set and let Fertita do all of the work. Fertita, by the way, more than lived up to the challenge, but for the couple numbers where White turned on the drum machine and Fertita switched to keyboards...it was magic. Although why White had to turn on a drum machine at all is a mystery. Surely there are hundreds of young drummers out there who would be happy to keep time for Dead Weather's two songs, but I digress. When White picked up the guitar for those two numbers, it's like the ceiling of the Palladium opened an sunshine poured into the theater. This is why we love Jack White. This is why we pay money to see his various bands. Not to watch Mossheart writhe around, but to see White's soul pour through his fingers and into our ears. One can only hope that he will return to those roots soon.

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Setlist
60 Feet Tall
Hang You From The Heavens
You Just Can't Win (Van Morrison cover)
So Far From Your Weapon
I Cut Like A Buffalo
No Horse
A Child of a Few Hours Is Burning To Death (West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band cover)
Die by the Drop
The Difference Between Us
I'm Mad
Hustle and Cuss
New Pony (Bob Dylan cover)
Will There Be Enough Water?

Encore:
Blue Blood Blues
Gasoline
I Can't Hear You
Treat Me Like Your Mother