Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Jack White: My shows aren't movies

Jack White

Jack White has hit out at critics of his live shows, insisting people shouldn't expect to watch "Gone with the Wind".

Jack's performance at Radio City Music Hall in New York in September was slammed after the show ended abruptly and an angry crowd formed in protest. The former White Stripes frontman insists his performances are never planned and fans must prepare themselves for anything when they buy a ticket to see him.

"I think the first night, the mob had decided they're going to go watch Gone with the Wind. In these times, it feels like a lot of people think a rock'n'roll show is the same as going to the movies, that a ticket is an emblem of entitlement. Whether they know it or not, the crowd's in control of my show, not me," he told the January edition of Esquire magazine. "We don't have a set list on stage and people in the crowd find out a few songs in that that's what's going on. I want people to understand that this is not rehearsed. This is happening. In the moment. And you're part of it."

The 37-year-old music star tailors his shows around the audience.

Jack likes to feed off the crowd and is very receptive to what they want to hear, but he also expects concertgoers to be enthusiastic.

"If I was playing in an old folks' home, and I played a couple of songs from the '40s and everyone clapped, and then I put on an electric guitar and played a Jimi Hendrix song and everyone started covering their ears, now I know the next song I do should not be electric and loud," he explained. "I saw, that first night, just hundreds of people straight-up not clapping. So I have no idea what to pick for the next song."

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