Jack White Sets the Bar for Rock Stars Everywhere

The Black Keys may not actually be ripping off Jack White, but they should wish they were.

In a music world that lacks the rock-god-like presence of artists like Jimi Hendrix, Jack White is one of those rare artists that have the same mysterious allure.

Programming Director Joe Phelan and I were lucky enough to watch Jack White take over the main stage at Bonnaroo this summer. I obviously knew of Jack White before the festival, but his set converted Joe and I into massive fans.

Scheduled to play for an hour and ten minutes, White turned his set into a two and a half-hour marathon of White Stripes, Dead Weather and solo work.

Jack White performing at the Bonaroo 2014.
Image courtesy of consequenceofsound.net.

Despite the length of the set, from the time Nashville-based White proclaimed, “Tennesee, I know you!” to the 90,000-strong “Seven Nation Army” sing-a-long, he had the crowd completely entranced.

One night removed from Kanye’s bizarre “Where the press at?” rant, White breathed pure fun into the festival as he asked the crowd through the set, “Are you having fun? I don’t want to keep you if you’re not having fun!” prompting roars from the massive Bonnaroo crowd. His two and a half hour set length is good proof that the crowd was indeed having fun.

If you have time to kill, you can watch White’s entire Bonaroo performance above.

That’s not to say that White was a normal, traditional musician. We all know enough about him at this point to know better. He even had his own rant about “having nothing better to do” that was confusing to say the least.

But the thing about White is that he always lets the music speak— I sincerely hope everyone gets to see that many people jump around and sing to “Seven Nation Army” at some point in their life. His fingers tore across the guitar like a man possessed, and he moved across the stage like an absolute God.

The world needs another rock star, and White makes it clear that he’s more than ready to take over.

-Kirk Windus, Assistant Music Director, 88.3 WSBU The Buzz 

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