O2, Dublin ****
Seen as something of a restless soul – if not a full-on creative workaholic – White subsequently veered into powerhouse pop/rock (The Raconteurs) and guitar-heavy rock (The Dead Weather), but the release earlier this year of his debut solo album, Blunderbuss, highlighted, perhaps, his true, singular worth: here is a nimble-fingered musician whose vision of rock’n’roll is as fundamental as the original genre music yet is also all-embracing and empathetic.
And so, without too much surprise, Jack White played a blinder – a blinder, let it be said, that was propelled every which way by The Peacocks, an all-female band (including two of the most intuitive musicians we’ve witnessed in many a Halloween moon – drummer Carla Azar and keyboard player Brooke Waggoner) that was more synchronised and styled than an armful of Swiss watches.
This is not to say there wasn’t a series of loose, rakish and – snakes alive! – slippery moves throughout. Across a 90-minute set (sparsely decorated, focusing simply on shards of black and white light), White rifled his solo album and the works of his other previous bands, switching instruments like a master craftsman trying out his latest innovation.
Highlights were many, but the centrepiece outings of Missing Pieces and Weep Themselves to Sleep (from Blunderbuss), Steady As She Goes (The Raconteurs) and Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground (The White Stripes) showcased how proficient White is at texturally blending the riff-driven density of Black Sabbath with the tender-heart yearnings of Hank Williams.
All in all, a blast from the past with a modern-day cherry on top.