My best musical moments of 2012 was a long awaited one which took place on November 5th, Guy Fawkes Night, in the further darkest regions of North London. While the fireworks outside created a spectacle of noise and light over the skyline of London another racket of sound pollution was taking place inside the walls of Alexander Palace. Unknowingly at the time this night was about to become not only one of the best gigs of 2012 but possibly of my life. Two of my favourite artists The Kills and Jack White would be together under one roof on the same day and they would be making one of my favourite things. Music! Over the course of the past 5 years I have seen Jack White perform with every band incarnation that he has conjured up from the White Stripes to The Raconteurs, so many times in fact I have begun to loose count. This year however due to a few missed opportunities and dodgy ticket handlings my plans to see his solo shows had been foiled. When the news was announced that he would be heading two nights in this legendary London venue my disappointment soon turned to elevation and an earnest pursuit to get my hands on tickets began. After waiting what seemed like a lifetime to see one of my all time heroes again and the added bonus of having the Kill support, my levels of excitement and anticipation where rocketing sky high.
The evening started off good, having just entered into the weekend spirit of things and still buzzing from a seeing Beach House the previous night I was fully revved up for some more gig action. Taking to the stage first to warm up the crowd was the primitive garage rock duo The Kills. Fronted by the sultry queen Alison Mosshart and guitarist Jamie Hince they performed an energetic and passionate set. Dark and vicarious, exhilarant and gripping, they seduced the crowd into a wild frenzy of commotion. I was most impressed by the four military precision-synchronised drummers who thumped out some powerful drum beats in the background. Alison Mosshart is the super star of the band and she knows how to charm a crowd with her dusky voice. Despite her onstage swagger being more stagger she still managed to mould the audience like putty as Jamie Hince rocked out beside her.
The played for a good hour but the best part of night was yet to come. As the stage was set up by Jack’s dapper roadies and as the lights began to lower the crowds inside the great grandeur of Alexandra Palace began to swell. For his solo tour Jack has bought with him two bands one all male the other all female each playing a different night. Tonight was the turn of the all girl band who held there own against Jack’s monstrous swells of garage rock.
Anyone that’s been lucky to see Jack White perform will know how much he ignites the crowd with his fervent aggressive attitude in his performance. I have never seen anyone command a guitar like he does and tonight he was in full control. With a vast back catalogue of songs to pick from the former White Stripes front man bustled his way trough a mixture of his most recent album Blunderbuss, White Stripes, Raconteurs and Dead Weather tunes but it was his performance of White Stripes songs that got the crowd in a frenzy including “Dead Leaves and The Dirty Ground”, “Hotel Yobra”, “Hello Operator” and The White Stripes’ most crowd pleasing and chaos starter song “Seven Nation Army”.
The only downside of the evening, apart from the epic trip I needed to make from my flat in south west London to the venue on the other side of the city was the missed opportunity Alision Mosshart and Jack White didn’t take to perform together. If not maybe for a small duet then a performance of a Dead Weather song or two. My complaints go as far as that and the night will go down as an epic moment for me. Everything was perfect about that gig and it exceeded my expectation. Jack White is an extraordinary front man, performer and musical genius but above all a true rock and roll icon.