Jack White doused The Tonight Show stage in electric blue Monday night for an eardrum-shattering performance of “Lazaretto” from his new album of the same name, which finally sees release today. Donning a wildly patterned suit and white cowboy boots, White belted the cut and skittered across the tiny stage as he strutted over his fretboard, bringing bombastic guitar work to back the song’s final “Devil Went Down to Georgia”-like fiddle duel.
White also stuck around for an bonus performance of Lazaretto‘s “Just One Drink,” a country-fried number that starts out subdued, but grows riotous enough to fulfill all your grimy honky-tonk needs, even as the pedal steel parts shimmer and White’s harmonies with violinist Lillie Mae Rische shine.
White also takes host Jimmy Fallon through Lazaretto‘s “Ultra” LP, which comes packed with all sorts of tricks from a flat edge, to secret songs pressed on the label, to a hologram — plenty to elicit a “Thank God for Jack White,” from Fallon, which the rocker jokingly took as a cue to exit. Fallon also asked White about the Lazaretto liner notes where he not only thanks “food,” but gives his 19-year-old self co-songwriting credits. White admitted that after slaving away on the instrumentals he felt detached from the songs when it came time to write and record vocals, but found inspiration from old one-act plays and poems he discovered while cleaning out his attic: “I just pulled a couple characters out of them and I thought, ‘What if I teach myself to how to write a song as a 19-year-old?’ If I had my older self to talk to me right now, how would I tell myself to write a song.”
White also recalled his appearance on the The Tonight Show just a month ago alongside Neil Young, who cut a cover of “Crazy” live on Third Man Record’s Voice-O-Graph record booth. Monday night’s appearance came on the heels of his headlining set at New York’s Governor’s Ball and he’s set to take the main stage at Bonnaroo this coming weekend before touring Europe and returning to the states in late July. You can also get an inside look at Lazaretto in our recent cover story on White, the first time the guitarist has graced the Rolling Stone cover solo.