The White Stripes hit the sheds of America in support of Get Behind Me Satan beginning tonight at San Diego Street Scene. But before the duo of Jack and Meg White play to thousands, the pair got in a club gig at Pomona, California's cozy Glass House Thursday night.
By the time the duo took the stage right around nine o'clock, the packed club felt like a sauna. But the heat did nothing to diminish fans' enthusiasm as Jack, dressed in a black T-shirt, and Meg, with her drums at left front of the stage, entered to a rapturous ovation.
In the role of frontman, White said very little beside playing up the duo's mythic relationship: "I'm Jack White, and this is my big sister Meg." Instead, he let his searing guitar work speak for him.
Whether it was on "Look Me Over Closely," which closed with a blues guitar flourish, or the sweet acoustic intro to "As Ugly As I Seem," Jack frequently played directly to Meg with his eyes closed, delivering every chord with a controlled abandon. Each song bristled with that intensity, even when he got behind the xylophone for Satan's "The Nurse."
The pair, with Jack covered in sweat, left the stage after fifty minutes to a fervent ovation. While the duo did milk the applause with a long break, fans were rewarded for their patience with an encore that, at almost forty minutes long, was more like a second set.
In his second utterance of the night, Jack thanked the crowd, saying, "My sister and I are really glad to be here." Highlights of the encore included "Seven Nation Army," during which he and Meg let the music fall totally silent at one point in the bridge, only to let the repetitive beat come back with a vengeance, and a sing-song version of "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself."
In this intimate setting, the White Stripes had lived up to their myth, and their hype.