The Dead Weather and Screaming Females at Terminal 5

dead_weather_boweryl_381300e9b8e5b49123e5dc0241251441I went to see The Dead Weather and Screaming Females on Thursday at Terminal 5.  While I would much rather see Jack White play guitar, preferably in The White Stripes, I’m always interested in what he is up to, and I’m pretty much obsessed with Alison Mosshart, so I was more than pleased to attend.  Also, seeing Jack White at a bar on 9th Avenue prior to show didn’t decrease the anticipation, by any means.

We got there in time to see most of the Screaming Females’ set, and I have to say, it was one of the most unexpected and pleasant surprises I have had in a long time. The New Jersey trio is fronted by Marissa Paternoster, a diminutive, guitar shredding, Grace Slick sound a like.  She’s not good because she is a girl, she’s not good because she is small, she is just good.  I know I wasn’t the only one whose jaw dropped on several occasions during their set.  If you are attending any of The Dead Weather shows, do yourself a favor and get there early.  You won’t be disappointed.

On to The Dead Weather.  I was only able to listen to Horehound once all the way through and while I liked what I heard, I wasn’t blow away.  This was pretty much the general consensus of most people I have talked to. However, I did immediately get the feeling that the dark, sludgy tunes that permeate the record were meant to be heard live.  I was right.  Right off the bat, with Alison standing on top of the stage monitors and belting, “I’m 60 feet tall,” The Dead Weather owned the room.  All dressed in black and flanked by a dark curtain backdrop featuring the octagon from the album artwork, the band looked and sounded like they just crawled out of a swamp, and were none to pleased about it.  They stormed through most, if not all of Horehound and snuck in a couple of covers, one of which was Them’s “You Just Can’t Win,” which saw White step out from behind the drums, never relinquishing his drumsticks, to handle some front and center vocal duties.  For all of those worried about not having Jack on guitar, let your worries by laid to rest.  Dean Fertita, heavy with swagger, killed on guitar and organ duties.  Regardless, the crowd went insane when Jack strapped on a guitar and sang with Mosshart on “Will There be Enough Water,” accompanied by a searing guitar slow.  White and Mosshart’s chemistry was palpable and they looked like they were attached at the lips when sharing the mic.  They left the stage and came back for an encore, which ended with a ripping cover of Dylan’s, “New Pony.”   The crowd went nuts when they took a bow, and almost seemed relieved that it didn’t suck.  I know I was.

Jack White’s primal drumming will never exude the emotion his guitar playing does, but he still managed to maintain one hell of a presence from behind the kit, and the band put on one of the most devilishly enjoyable shows I have seen in a while.

I also managed to score a killer Rob Jones poster.  A very successful night indeed.

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