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Jack White Performs Career-Spanning Set at the Detroit Masonic Temple

Jack White
David James Swanson

The Detroit Masonic Temple is the world’s largest Masonic Temple, covering more than 500,000 square feet in Detroit’s Cass Corridor. In addition to serving as a traditional Freemasonry building, the Detroit Masonic Temple also acts as a concert venue for the city. Last night, Detroit native Jack White stepped into the Temple and performed what felt like a true homecoming show, playing more than 30 career-spanning songs for nearly three hours to a constantly captivated crowd.

This was a very personal show for White for a couple of reasons. First, his mother worked as an usher at the Temple, where young Jack spent a lot of his childhood. Second — and partly due to that history and relationship — White wrote a check to cover the back taxes of the Temple a little more than a year ago, helping to keep it out of foreclosure (this unexpected act of kindness earned White a namesake in one of the building’s theaters).

If that’s not enough, the venue itself is a historical and electrifying place when packed with nearly 4,800 screaming fans. Shaped like a horseshoe, it feels as though the crowd is engulfing the stage, which seemed to only fuel White’s performance last night.

Opening at 9:30PM with a trio of White Stripes songs, White and company spent little time chatting with the audience and instead worked on blending each song into the next. From playing fan favorites like ‘Lazaretto’ and ‘Hotel Yorba’ to briefly covering Beck‘s ‘Devils Haircut’ to bringing out Alison Mosshart and Dean Fertita — singer and guitarist for the Dead Weather, respectively — to help with the Weather’s ‘I Cut Like a Buffalo,’ the night was full of nonstop rock ‘n’ roll and a seemingly endless supply of energy from the eclectic and ebullient frontman.

While this last week has seen instances of White displaying his more sorrowful side, it wasn’t uncommon to see him smiling onstage at the Temple. It was obvious he felt a deep connection — not only to the room he was rocking, but also to the audience. Seeking some assistance during ‘My Doorbell,’ White brought up three female fans from the jam-packed floor to help him finish the song. After hugging White and, understandably, freaking out, the women were escorted off the stage and the band tore into the blues-soaked Stripes tune ‘I Fought Piranhas.’

As he has throughout this tour, White finished the night with an epic rendition of the much celebrated ‘Seven Nation Army.’ When the band bowed to the crowd around 12:20 AM, White grabbed his microphone and said, “This is the Detroit that I know and love.”

Never mentioning his theater or what he did for the Masonic Temple, White’s performance was a humble showing of both his infinite talent and dedication to his hometown. He commanded the audience’s attention for nearly three hours while conducting his all-star band through the set and encore — all the while jumping around onstage and playing face-melting solo after face-melting solo.

There are few performers who can do what White does night after night, and with North American tour dates scheduled through September, any music fan with even a fleeting interest in modern rock ‘n’ roll should catch his live performance. There’s no other show quite like it.

Jack White — Detroit Masonic Temple

Jack White
David James Swanson
Jack White
David James Swanson
Jack White
David James Swanson
Jack White
David James Swanson
Jack White
David James Swanson
Jack White
David James Swanson
Jack White
David James Swanson
Jack White
David James Swanson

Jack White — Setlist, July 30, 2014
‘Feel in Love With a Girl’
‘Astro’
‘The Big Three Killed My Baby’
‘High Ball Stepper’
‘Lazaretto’
‘Missing Pieces’
‘Just One Drink’
‘Hotel Yorba’
‘You Know That I Know’ (Hank Williams cover)
‘Love Interruption’
‘Weep Themselves to Sleep’
‘I Cut Like a Buffalo’
‘Cannon’
‘Icky Thump’
‘Screwdriver’
‘Apple Blossom’
‘Three Women’
‘The Same Boy You’ve Always Known’
‘We’re Going to Be Friends’
‘Sugar Never Tasted So Good’
‘Entitlement’
‘Alone in My Home’
‘Steady, As She Goes’
‘Ball and Biscuit’

Encore
‘The Hardest Button to Button’
‘Sixteen Saltines’
‘Devils Haircut’ (Beck cover)
‘Hypocritical Kiss’
‘The Black Bat Licorice’
‘Would You Fight for My Love?’
‘Blue Blood Blues’
‘You Don’t What What Love Is (You Just Do As You’re Told)’
‘My Doorbell’
‘I Fought Piranhas’
‘Seven Nation Army’

Watch Jack White Play ‘I Cut Like a Buffalo’ at Detroit Masonic Temple

Next: Jack White Wants to Play a Record in Outer Space

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