Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Dead Weather, Street Chant @ The Forum

Testament to the glut of touring artists at this time of year, The Dead Weather’s second Forum show was far from a sell out. But y’know, with Massive Attack in the park and Pixies playing somewhere near the rail yards they did OK to pull any kind of crowd at all.
Kiwi youngsters Street Chant impressed. Their grungy grooves hark back to a time I doubt any of them would’ve been much more than a glimmer in their parents’ eyes, yet they pull it off with authority and smiles. Plus the drummer’s a freakin’ dynamo. Check them out! Jack White seemed impressed.
Regardless of how ‘super’ the amalgam of musicians about the stage (QOtSA’s Dean Fertita, Raconteurs’ Jack Lawrence and The Kills’ saucy goddess Alison Mosshart), you can’t help but be a little disappointed to see Jack White on drums. I’ve got nothing against drumming or drummers (see above paragraph) but, at risk of alienating myself from about a quarter of the music fraternity in this town (after a recent crack at bass players the only friends I’ve got are a couple of maraca shakers and the odd horn blower), a musical talent such as White’s is wasted, that’s right, wasted behind a drum kit—despite the fact he can smash ‘em like a pro.
In saying that, The Dead Weather were on fire from the bludgeoning ‘Treat Me Like Your Mother’ to the salacious White/Mosshart duet of ‘Will There Be Enough Water?’ at the death. It was Van Morrison’s ‘You Just Can’t Win’ that stole it for mine, however, with White seizing the audience in his oh so gifted voice and Mosshart bashing out percussion with her hands. As a counterpoint to a lot of the ‘super’ outfits that come around, The Dead Weather certainly have the songs. It’d be truly grand to see them take this further, as some more material would thicken up what’s already a pretty darned decent show. You wonder, with everything else these four have going on, whether this one will die a side project.

Sam McDougall