White Stripes jam with elders, rock Iqaluit

The White Stripes concluded a three-stop journey across Canada's North in Iqaluit, where they jammed with Inuit elders, ate raw caribou and played a raucous show for hundreds in a half-full arena on Wednesday.

The White Stripes concluded their three-stop journey across Canada's North in Iqaluit, where they jammed with Inuit elders, ate raw caribou and played a raucous show for hundreds on Wednesday.

White Stripes singer Jack White said he and drummer Meg White were fortunate to hear stories from Iqaluit elders on Wednesday. ((Photo courtesy Lissie Kelly))

The Detroit-based rock duo of Jack and Meg White played Wednesday night in the Arctic Winter Games Arena, as part of their ambitious cross-Canada tour that has them travelling to cities in every province and territory. The band is promoting its sixth album, Icky Thump, which came out earlier this month.

Earlier this week, they played to crowds of 400 and 2,200 in sold-out shows in Whitehorse and Yellowknife, respectively.

About 600 tickets were sold for Wednesday night's concert. Fans cheered as singer and guitarist Jack White waved the Nunavut flag at the end of the performance, in which they performed everything from the hit song Seven Nation Army toWhite's trademarkcover of Dolly Parton's 1973song Jolene.

"I don't have much of a voice left. I thought it was absolutely fantastic," Iqaluit fan Valmar Goggin said after the show. "I think they gave the same show they would have given in any other town, which is really respectable seeing as how few people we had in there."

Before the show, the band ate raw caribou meat and met with local elders in the city. In fact, the meeting turned into an impromptujam session,with some eldersdancing and playing accordions and Jack White following along on guitar, said those who attended.

Meg and Jack White spent Thursday morning shooting video footage by the old Hudson Bay buildings in Apex, Nunavut. ((Joanne Stassen/CBC))

White told CBC News that he and drummer Meg White couldn't visit Nunavut without learning more about Inuit culture.

"Older people have so much knowledge, and especially the elders of the Inuit people," he said. "The stories that we were lucky enough to hear were wonderful. We were very fortunate that we got a chance to sit and talk with them. I'm glad they let us into their home like that."

On Thursday morning, the duo went out with a documentary film crew near the old Hudson Bay buildings in nearby Apex, shooting footage that may appear in a future music video or on a DVD about the Canadian tour.

The White Stripes' Canadian trek— which began June 24 in Burnaby, B.C.— now returns south, with its next stopFriday at the Calgary Saddledome. Other Canadian tour dates are:

  • June 30 - Shaw Convention Centre, Edmonton
  • July 1 - TCU Place, Saskatoon
  • July 2 - MTS Centre, Winnipeg
  • July 3 - Community Auditorium, Thunder Bay, Ont.
  • July 5 - Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto
  • July 6 - Bell Centre, Montreal
  • July 7 - John Labatt Centre, London, Ont.
  • July 8 - Ottawa Bluesfest, Ottawa
  • July 10 - Moncton Coliseum Arena, Moncton, N.B.
  • July 11 - Charlottetown Civic Centre, Charlottetown
  • July 13 - Cunard Centre, Halifax
  • July 14 - Savoy Theatre, Glace Bay, N.S.
  • July 16 - Mile One Centre, St. John's