live review

The Dead Weather, The Powerstation, Auckland

The Dead Weather, The Powerstation, Auckland

March 17 2010
The Powerstation, Auckland

Reviewed by UTR
29th March 2010

The Dead Weather
Wednesday 17th March, 2010
The Powerstation, Auckland

These days we (hopefully) buy records, digest them, and then anxiously anticipate a show, hoping it'll live up to our personal experience of a band's discography. When I first heard The Dead Weather's Horehound, I was a little disappointed. Shouldn't the collective efforts of Jack White, The Kills' Alison Mosshart, The Greenhorne's Jack Lawrence and Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age be a little more impressive?

The lead-up to The Dead Weather's set, looked like it was going to be similarly disappointing. White had his stagehands and sound guys running around the stage looking ridiculous in black suits, black hats and turquoise ties. However, after stalking onstage, and under bright blue, and epilepsy-inducing white lights, the band played a searing, spectacular set.

Playing most of Horehound and a lot of material from their forthcoming album Sea of Cowards, the band enraptured a sold out Powerstation. Mosshart is the ideal frontwoman. Immensely charismatic and impossibly sultry, she is a rock goddess onstage, shimmying across the stage, and flinging herself to the floor along to Fertita's bluesy guitar licks and Lawrence's fuzzed out, muscular bass. Working up the crowd she repeatedly leapt onto the stage amps, and leaned over the stage, howling into the mic.

The charm and intensity of The Dead Weather lies in their ability to play tightly and seamlessly as a single unit. All four sang during the set, and while Mosshart is the frontwoman, she seemed to unconsciously step aside for Fertita's guitar solos and White's vocal leads, and play keys/maracas/tambourine/guitar on the side of stage. Together, the four produce a single, roaring propulsive sound.

It's the kind of music you'd imagine hearing in a bar deep in Texas in the sweltering heat; it's guttural and exciting, and I've honestly never seen a band look so effortlessly and unconsciously cool onstage. 'Bone House', 'Hang You From the Heavens' and 'Will There Be Enough Water' were personal highlights. Post-show, the album sounds terrific to me, it's possibly what show-going and record-listening used to be like. You buy the record after seeing a show because it reminds you of the concert, rather than the other way around.

Street Chant were an excellent opening act, and this first show promises good things for the rest of their tour with The Dead Weather.

Dead Weather
Dead Weather

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