Jack White

Jack White is one of Detroit’s favorite sons, presumably, but he wasn’t feeling the love from his home crowd when he played the Fox Theatre Monday night. According to a Detroit Free Press report, White was apprehensive about playing a plush venue where “people start to feel like they’re watching a movie.” White was so anxious about playing a rock-unfriendly venue that before the show his road manager came on stage and asked the crowd to stand up and be rowdy. The audience indeed got on their feet, but after two songs White “became visibly displeased with the standing crowd’s lack of intensity in what he wanted to be a symbiotic affair.” White said goodnight and returned backstage after just 30 minutes. After a long absence from the stage, he and his band returned and ripped through “Fell In Love With A Girl,” telling the audience, “I know as Detroiters you can overcome comfortable seating and beautiful lighting to make something as real as possible.” Also: “We’re all together now. This isn’t ’Gone With the Wind’ in the 1930s, all right?” Eventually White’s return evolved into an hour-plus encore reporter Brian McCollum described as “cathartic.”

According McCollum, the show held special significance for White, who now lives in Nashville, because he worked nextdoor as a teen. As White explained to the crowd near the end of the night, “I told myself I’d only play here one time. This’ll be the last time I play the Fox Theatre. It was a final piece of the puzzle — I saved it for a long time.” Read the full report here.

Comments (24)
  1. Detroit Free Press: “Jack White turns frustration into triumph at Fox.” And: “By the time he broke out the Kay Hollowbody guitar for ‘Seven Nation Army,’ the 2¾-hour show certainly had found its purpose, and he had found peace with the evening.”

    Was he frustrated at times with the crowd? Yeah. But to suggest he was annoyed to the point of vowing to never return like this headline does is a bit sensational, no?

  2. yeah this headline is just plain old sensationalism from words taken out of context. nicely done ‘gum!

  3. What a terrible headline.

  4. great headline

  5. What a dick! My daughter was excited about this show for months. What happened, Nancy, no good coke this time?

  6. Previously in Jack White walking offstage early at fancy venues:

  7. So he gets pissed when an audience is polite and acts respectful at a music venue.

    Sounds like the crowd was only doing what more rock crowds should do – not let hooliganism get in the way of enjoying the show.

    • Because if there’s one thing rock and roll is about it’s being polite.

    • If you want to stand still and simply hear music listen to an album on your record player. A concert should be an experience, and you don’t really get that at a rock show if everyone just stands there staring blankly at the stage.

      In the last month I’ve only been to two shows but they could not have been more different. One was Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden at Red Rocks. Both bands sounded pretty great and NIN’s live show was obviously fantastic, but overall it was a rather dull experience because the crowd of mostly middle aged bro’s and hard rock dudes just stood there drinking beer and talking through both sets. The other show was Mac Demarco at a fairly small theatre in Denver, and that was one of the best times I’ve had in my life. The crowd packed the place full from front to back and there was so much energy coming from both the crowd and Mac and his band. It was a blast. Constant movement and dancing and crowd surfing and just a lot of fun.

      So what I’m getting at is generally the more energy a crowd puts into a show, the more fun the show is going to be both for them and the performer. I’m not saying Mac Demarco is a better performer or musician than Trent Reznor, but I had a hell of a lot more fun watching him in the middle of a wave of people having the time of their lives than I did watching Trent put on a great show from the middle of a sea of dudes twice my age mildly bobbing their heads to Nine Inch Nails songs.

      • I do actually prefer listening to music at home than going to see it live. I’ve just about given up on live music because the experience of seeing a concert is just too, too negative in almost all instances. Especially if it’s a standing-room only venue and I can’t be guaranteed a place to sit – I can’t stand on my feet for 2+ at a stretch without really hurting the next day.

        The whole idol worship of musicians that occurs seemingly as a matter of course at rock shows is also off-putting. How about we clap respectfully without losing our dignity by broadcasting our pathological celebrity worship at every turn?

  8. He played a nearly two-and-a-half hour show. He only left the stage briefly – and came back and rocked the place to the roof. And where does he say he “vows never to return”, as a RESULT of this? He was only EVER going to play that place once. God, I hate click-bait headlines.

  9. god only knows where gum would be without jack white

  10. I’m from the Detroit area, and see many shows there. There is definitely better venues for a rock n’ roll show than Fox Theatre, but Detroit crowds are some of the best in the country. No city in the nation embraces their own like Detroiters. They fucking love Kid Rock for crying out loud. Detroit loves Jack White. Not sure he loves Detroit back.

  11. I hope you guys get all the pageviews in the world for this disingenuous clickbait headline. This show was incredible. The crowd was not apathetic, nor did it ever seem as though Jack White thought it was. He definitely didn’t seem annoyed. When he took the first break, it appeared to me as though he had some sort of technical issue he felt he needed to sort out. If he felt the crowd was apathetic, he probably could’ve just stopped right then. Instead, he came back out and played for almost two additional hours. I know plenty of music bloggers think it’s fun to hate on Jack White (har har har, he has a sad face at a baseball game, lolololol), but give me a break.

  12. I just saw Jack White for the first time at the Newport Folk Festival and I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more engaging performer in all of my concert going experiences. Truly a mindblowing performance that the crowd was VERY into and you could tell Jack was very into as well. The man literally cried during the encore he was so touched by the experience.

    At any rate, I agree with seemingly everyone else that this headline and article are garbage, as is most of Stereogum’s coverage of Jack White. We get, you didn’t like Lazaretto. Go back to pumping up Ariana Grande or whatever bullshit you guys are into now.

  13. Headline has been changed, Thank You for respecting our intelligence.

  14. You’re either successfully trolling or a very boring person, I can’t decide which.

  15. Very similar thing happened last week at Chicago’s Auditorium Theater. It was a very plush venue and he was clearly off his game. He came out, ripped through Icky Thump, said “Good night Chicago!” and closed the curtains. He came back on after five minutes (sitting on an amp and putting on his shoes) and played for a few hours but was clearly annoyed and off his game. I’ve seen him three times now and this is the first time I’ve walked away feeling a little let down, especially after hearing about his three-hour set at the Chicago theater the night before.

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