Friday, July 30, 2010

Dead Weather @ The Warfield, San Francisco, 22 July 2010

Dead Weather

Alison Mosshart is a great rock'n'roll chick. She looks fabulous, like Keef's long lost illegitimate daughter. She jumps on the monitors, she climbs on the speaker stacks. She thrusts her hips. You'd think that this would all get a bit boring after a while but it doesn't. When she isn't singing she prowls about the stage. At one point Jack White wickedly announces that she is ovulating and the audience certainly seems to feel the effects of a few hormones. There's just one big problem: she isn't the best singer in this band. Jack White actually has a similarly pitched voice, and when they sing (or shout) together it works well. But he does more things with his voice, and also articulates better, you can actually hear the words he is singing.

Dean Fertita is the Dead Weather's guitarist and keyboardist. He makes a lot of good noise. At their best the Dead Weather get a heavy Led Zep sound going, and Fertita plays the parts of both Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones (in his riffing keyboard mode). There's just one big problem: he isn't the best guitarist in this band. Jack White is a really interesting guitar player. Even when repeating a riff he seems to be able to play it differently each time.

I think John Peel once said that the problem with Led Zeppelin was that their audience started to just unthinkingly approve of everything they did. I can't begrudge anyone trying to sound like Led Zep; it looks like fun. On the BART ride home I saw someone reading Hammer of the Gods, which seems like ancient history. Maybe there should be a statute of limitations which limits how long a band can be copied.

I did enjoy this concert even if it sounds like I didn't.

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