The Buzz

Jack White and the restless folks at Radio City

Categories: Music

 Jack White and band perform at Lollapalooza in Chicago's Grant Park on Aug. 5. His performance at Radio City Music Hall was less of a success. (Associated Press)

Expectations have always been high when it comes to Jack White. He is after all, a formidable rock god whose first solo record, Blunderbuss was released to critical and commercial praise. However this past weekend, White left a sold-out audience confused and angry after he abruptly ended his concert about 55 minutes in at New York's Radio City Music Hall Saturday night.

White pulled the plug on the show after 12 songs, playing mostly songs off his solo record along with four White Stripes songs, after sparring with the crowd throughout his set. At one point White asked the crowd to quiet down "because I can't hear myself think" and was later underwhelmed by the response to his single Love Interruption, curiously asking "Jesus Christ, is this an NPR convention?"

It wasn't long afterwards before the diva-tinged White announced to the convention... err crowd... that he was leaving the stage and taking his backing band with him. The crowd hung around for several minutes chanting and singing along to Seven Nation Army, but soon the devotion turned into derision as the song turned into the chant "F--- Jack White."

No official explanation has been given for the short set, but the Twitter-sphere exploded with angry tweets directed at White and inspiring the hashtag #JackWhiteDebacle. The New York Observer reported White having several heated exchanges with a shirtless man in the front row who was removed by security earlier that night.

White played Radio City Music Hall again on Sunday night, playing a full set and making no comment regarding the 55 minutes he spent on stage Saturday. All in all, it was a good night in the Jack White universe.

Like his idol Bob Dylan, a man known to have put on a strange show or two in his long career, there is a mystique surrounding Jack White that stems from not giving away too much of himself. There are many Jack Whites, not all of them good, and he's been known to fabricate, distort, and manipulate stories surrounding himself and his bands - and will likely continue to do so without a hitch. It's unlikely that White will explain himself, and even if he does, can we take him at his word?

One thing's for sure, the world is a better place when Jack White is playing music. White is in Toronto later this week playing two sold-out shows at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts on Oct. 3rd and 4th.

-- Thorstan Gerlach

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