The Dead Weather
July 30, 2010
The Dead Weather is arguably the last drop of rock and roll left in the industry, and like their smashing single screams, "Some People Die By the Drop." With their menacing black rock recorded by the menace himself, Jack White, the colorless contradiction is most fitting for the super group, who on July 30, 2010 at the Congress Theater in Chicago, took the stage with black clothes and bone-white face.
At Bonnaroo, In the dry heat of the Tennessee mountains that dove and danced like serpents into the landscapes, it rained for the first and only time of the four day festival during The Dead Weather’s set. "And don’t forget," White screeched from the speakers, "The Dead Weather brought you rain."
They brought the storm with them again in Chicago with their thunderous baselines, harmonious guitars, and lightening-like visual performance. Although all of the songs were played to perfection, one of the highlights of the show was their stunning performance of "I Can’t Hear You," which normally features Jack White destroying time on the drum kit. Unlike the recorded version, the drumming was replaced by a beat machine which allowed vocal interaction between White and The Kills vocalist Alison Mosshart, and just enough time for Jack to return to his drum set to finish off the song. While the two of them sang into the microphone, their smoking silhouettes resembled a ghostly duet while the rest of the instruments eerily howled out from the stage.
The Dead Weather seems to effortlessly blend metallic melancholy with a touch of organic, blues-infusion that soothed in such tremendously moving ways. Ways in which one might find himself rocking back and forth with fists clenched, feet stomping to the heavy bass bullets firing from the speakers to songs like "Rocking Horse." On the opposite end of the spectrum one might also find himself cradling his head in bed, rocking softly to roaring lullabies like "So Far From Your Weapon".
It is generally believed that the Dead Weather is the brainchild of Jack White; but a lot of credit also goes to Mossheart. She provides most of the lyrics and her stage presence is anything but boring. As she ascended to the speakers’ peak of the Congress Theater stage, hands obsessively grabbed at her as if she were hanging "From the Heavens." With legs almost as thin as the mic stand, body wet with sexy ambition, Alison’s aggressive and powerful voice resonated relentlessly into the crowd’s ravenous eardrums.
In the same way that this band spawned from Whites’ illness, The Dead Weather continues to produce songs contagious enough to be played over and over in our heads with albums such as Horehound (2009) and Sea of Cowards (2010). Their presence at the Congress Theater was anything but dead as they decorated the stage with dark and mischievous vocals, black holes of guitar solos, steady thuds from the drums and bass, and an overall raw, melodic dialect.
The Dead Weather make a name for themselves with every soul-wrenching electric step they take, and have been spotted massaging the consciousness of rock fans all over the globe. Forget umbrellas and the doppler radar. Sit back and let their musical weather patterns travel the cracks and crevices of your brain.
Click the thumbnail for more shots from the show, courtesy of Julie Collins