A downtown New York gallery transformed into a pop-up record store today and hosted an intimate but ferocious gig by Jack White's latest band, the Dead Weather, whose Horehound was released this week. The first 230 fans to arrive at the performance and gallery space — which were redecorated from floor to ceiling in the band's signature yellow and black and renamed Third Man Records, after White's label — were treated to a stunning six-song set that included singles "Hang You Up From The Heavens" and "Treat Me Like Your Mother."
An eclectic mix of fans — including one woman with a toddler — started lining up as early as 9 p.m. last night for the gig, and two young Brooklyn fans resorted to bribing bouncers with ice water to guarantee their spots. When White and the band — the Kills' Alison Mosshart and the Raconteurs' Jack Lawrence and Dean Fertita — emerged close to 12:30 p.m., the small, sweaty space erupted. Fans were packed in so tightly some sorted to hanging from drainpipes, and the low stage made it difficult for anyone beyond the front row to see, but the sound of White bashing his drums to Lawrence's pounding basslines and Fertita's searing riffs cut through the thick air. Mosshart's raw performance had fans especially abuzz: "She is sex," mused one.
After the show, Mosshart told RS the gig was a success: "I loved it! It was hot!" DJ and TV host Matt Pinfield, outfitted in a yellow button-down shirt and black tie, was lending the band a hand. "I was at the first gig at the Bowery Ballroom, and I love it," he said. "It's just raw, powerful — it's a great marriage [of musicians]. Now I'm helping out, Jack asked me to work here, I've got the Third Man uniform on!"
Rare White Stripes and Raconteurs LPs and limited-edition color Horehound vinyl pressed specifically for this two-day event — the store will be open tomorrow, too — were on sale, along with Dead Weather apparel. About 75 percent of the merchandise sold out today and a rush order is being placed to restock the store for tomorrow according to manager Matt Pollack, who masterminded the pop-up event based on the launch of the White Stripes 2007 album Icky Thump. He said his goal was to take "the vision of Third Man and put it on the road."
Additional reporting by Caitlin Wittlif.