I got there at 7:30am. Well, that’s when arrived in my car. It took me about 30 minutes to find a spot, so I reached the line at 8. I was technically 6th in line, but I had a friend who got there at 7:00 and the two girls behind us didn’t seem to mind.
So then the waiting began…Shane (my friend’s name is Shane, I met him when I saw the Kills. This guy is one of THE biggest Jack/TMR fans out there. He lives in CA but he’s gone to Nashville many times just to be first in line for Record Store Day and other awesome events. He also looks like he could be related to Jack. Oh yeah and he saw The White Stripes in 2005. I know.) It was fun to get to hang out with him in person, as we mostly talk via fb. We got to fully experience the LA street people-watching thing. There are some weirdos out there man…but absolutely hilarious weirdos.
Okay so fast forward about 8 hours. The WIltern people are trying to sell these “$20 pre-entry” wristbands. I remembered that when I saw The Kills there, the wristbands were bullshit. You don’t even get access to the pit, just the merch table and this underground “VIP” bar. Well, this lovely guy at the from of the line decided to purchase these bands for the first 10 people. Since it was free, I though okay why the hell not. So, those of us with pre-entry wristbands waited in a separate line on the opposite side of the venue. Our entry time was 6:30. Well, 6:15 rolls around and all of these older fans (I’m guessing 40-60) line up in front of us. They literally walked up at like 6pm, bought pre-entry tickets, and thought that it was okay to get in before us. That’s when it started t get crazy…the tension just kept rising…the older fans just kept getting bitchier…us younger folks just kept yelling right back, asking them what the hell they thought they were doing cutting young Jack fans who spent their entire fucking day waiting for the show. So, then the security guards filed us down into this bar area. They did not give us access to the merch stand. They said that they would let us in at the same time as the non-pre-entry people. All hell broke loose and we were freaking out. We got there freaking early in the morning (I got two hours of sleep) to MAYBE get the chance to be up front?!?!?! It was ridiculous. As the WIltern employees noticed how angry we were getting, they decided to tell us that yes, we would gain access to the pit before everyone else. They said that they would not let the people outside in until we were already in the pit.
They kept that promise :)
I got a spot front and center. There was absolutely NO barrier. Therefore, my arms were on the stage. 3 feet from his mic stand. I started flipping out…was it really happening????? I saw the guys in the bowler hats and suits…stringing his GORGEOUS guitars, tuning up the basses, checking the keyboards…was this really happening??? How could this actually finally be happening to me??? It was absolutely surreal. The amps had a metallic sheen…everything had a metallic sheen. Then I saw her. Jo McCaughey. One of my heroes. One of my biggest inspirations. I shouted out “Jo!!!!!!” She turned around and looked at the wrong girl. I shouted again “Jo!!! I love your photos!!!!!!!!!” She gave the wrong girl an adorable, bashful, gratuitous smile and went back to work setting up the flashes around stage. I was bummed that she looked at the wrong person, but hey, at least her heard me! :) Her blue dress was stunning and her shoes…oh man her black velvet pumps were AWESOME. I kept picturing her with LJ and it just seemed weird. LOL It seemed like they’d be the weirdest, most awkward couple…but hey that’s cool. The people around/behind me were like “Who’s ‘Jo’?” So I told them that she was the official TMR photographer, and that she was also LJ’s wife. “Who’s ‘LJ’?” At this point, I really couldn’t handle it anymore. I politely told them who he was, but inside I was filled with anger. These people, who fought their way to the front, didn’t seem to know a THING about Jack or his colleagues. I quickly realized that they were materialistic bitches who simply thought Jack was sexy. They didn’t seem to have an emotional connection to his music. They enjoyed it, no doubt, but it didn’t appear to mean anything to them. It put a damper on things because I didn’t want to be associated with them.
Then Lalo walks out. I keep going “Oh my God it’s Lalo. Oh my fucking God it’s Lalo!!!!”
“Who’s Lalo?!” (jsklajfals; these people….it just kept getting worse, man) He told us very politely to enjoy the show “in person” and to refrain from taking photos or videos. I yelled out “TANGIBLE EXPERIENCEEEEEEEEE” but everyone else was screaming so no one could hear it. I basically just lost it.
Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three came out. They were AMAZING. Pokey looked at me a few times, with a mischievous little grin, he was pretty cute. But the bass player…okay the bass player and I had some serious eye flirting going on. It was awkward as fuck. I’d seen him a bunch of times throughout the day when I was waiting in line, but I never approached him because I didn’t know his name, or what instrument he played, I just knew he was a part of Pokey’s band. We kept looking at each other and smiling and nodding and I don’t even know what, but it was fun/awkward. LOL The harmonica/washboard player was so cool. He was SO into it and man he just had so much charisma! I could go on and on about their performance, but I know that this is turning into a novel and I should really get to the Jack part.
Pokey walked off stage, and Jack’s henchmen went back to work checking everything. Jo double-checked her flash placement. People started to sit in their VIP side-stage seats. Kelly Osbourne was there, but I didn’t care. And then, Daru walked out, followed by Dominic and Cory and the rest of the band. I couldn’t handle myself. I couldn’t comprehend anything. No fucking way. There was no fucking way this was happening. Jack ran out without even a one second break. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready for him to be standing right in front of me. I started crying, but no tears came out. My body went into shock. I was too close for him to be real. He was a hologram. I could not comprehend anything that was going on. Then he started Black Math. I couldn’t stop saying “fuck fuck fuck fuck oh my god this is not happening fdjsklfjakl;f” I could barely even scream. It was glorious…I started air drumming on the stage. I literally just couldn’t control anything. When it ended, I just stood there in shock. I had just seen a White Stripes song live. WHAT?! Then he played 3 Blunderbuss tracks back to back: Missing Pieces, Weep Themselves to Sleep, and Trash Tongue Talker. He looked at me multiple times during Weep Themselves to Sleep, and each time I fucked up the lyrics. This became a trend. Almost every time he looked at me that night, I just couldn’t sing. I tried and tried, because I didn’t want him to think that i didn’t know the words, but I couldn’t help it. It was physically impossible for me to look into his eyes and remember the words simultaneously. Physically impossible.
Then he played Two Against One from Rome. That’s when my face finally became THIS face:
and THEN. HOTEL FREAKING YORBA. The entire crowd lost it. Holy shit it was beautiful. He grinned throughout the song. He couldn’t stop smiling. It was obvious they he had the most fun playing Stripes songs. We looked at each other during the entire “If I’m the one that you love the most you can say ‘I do’ at least” part. fjdlksjdflakjl;ks It was definitely the best moment of the night. God…I was bouncing around like a freaking kangaroo.
Then he played Hypocritical Kiss which was fun :) From this point on he at least glanced at me during every song. Then Top Yourself, also very good. But then he started I Cut Like A Buffalo and I was just like YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. It was so fucking good. But I did miss hearing Alison’s choking noises. haha That sounds really bad but the song is different without them! And then he finally played Dead Leaves. I thought that he opened every show with Dead Leaves, so I was like well this is a bit late in the game! But it was beautiful of course…oh man. During that song it hit me: I don’t want to be at a Jack White concert, I want to be at a White Stripes concert. It didn’t matter how good the Buzzards were…I just wanted to go to a White Stripes show. So from that point on a was a little sad.
Then he played Blunderbuss and I almost yelled out something about Alison, but I stopped myself. LOL. Gosh it was so adorable. I’m pretty sure that he looked at Jo during that song…they made faces at each other a few times during the show and it was so freaking cute. You could tell that they have a really great relationship, with absolutely NO sexual tension whatsoever. After that was his Hank WIlliams song “You Know That I Know” during which he looked at me quite a few times…and I was just like Jack you have totally cheated multiple times. hahahaha So many of his songs make it obvious oh man. It was really fun live though, I have to admit I really enjoyed that one.
And then……the song that nearly made me collapse. We’re Going To be Friends. The moment I heard that G chord…I just started saying “No no no no no no no no no no. God no. I can’t do this. Fuck.” Tears started streaming down my face. I wasn’t just crying, I was full on sobbing. It was worse than The Last Goodbye. I was just sobbing and quietly mouthing the words. Most of the tears were tears of sadness—it was the very last song he and Meg ever performed together. But some of them were tears of joy because that was one of the first Stripes songs I really liked, and it was the first full song I taught myself on guitar. I started hyperventilating. It became hard to breathe. The song ended and I just tried to stop crying. I tried so hard but the tears just kept coming. The next song was I Guess I should Go To Sleep, which was great, but I was still just trying to recover. The harmonies with Cory were beautiful.
Then he played Take Me With You When You Go, which I was really excited to see live. I KNEW it would be epic. When he stopped playing piano and picked up his guitar…FJKSDALJFADLS;. ROCK N ROLL MAN. I kept trying to sing the super fast parts and he kept looking at me and I kept screwing up lol it was hilarious. He FINALLY gave me a little half-smirk. After all of the times he looked at me with a completely blank expression…sheesh! And at the final “OoooOOoooh” I practically howled like a little wolf…it was awesome. Then they all ran off stage.
During the “intermission” Jo walked out to re-position her flashes. Then the chaos started. The people surrounding me kept calling out “hey beautiful, hey red, hey redhead, hey you” to Jo. “Give us a pick!!!!!!! You’re right fucking there, give us a pick!!!!!!!!” I tried to stop them by giving them dirty looks and asking them to stop but I couldn’t. She tried to ignore them but she just couldn’t after a while. She finally turned around and apologized with “I’m sorry, I cant.” and she just kept nodding her head “no”. They continued to yell at her and it made me so upset. She was just trying to do her job. Also, Jack had thrown out probably like 5 picks during the show. They were asking her to literally steal one from his little pick stand thingy. Would you really want one of his picks like that?? I’d rather have one directly from him. It was total bullshit. (When the show ended one of the girls actually DID jump on stage and steal 2 of his picks. I can’t stand people sometimes. I really can’t.)
Well, the gang finally jogged back on stage and started playing:
MY DOORBELL. My Doorbell was THE first Stripes song that I owned. I bought the single on iTunes when I was 13 and I played it over and over and over. it was constantly on repeat on my iPod. So it’s safe to say that I was really excited. In the middle of it, when Jack took like a 1 second break, the crowd wouldn’t stop cheering. He was grinning like a fool, he kept trying to to stop but he couldn’t. He stepped away from the mic and we kept cheering and he kept nodding in gratitude and everything was beautiful. *sigh*
Then Freedom at 21 which was really fun and he looked at me a few times. Then they started what I thought was just a jam session but I guess it was an instrumental cover of Nitro by Dick Dale. It was really cool to just watch Jack have fun playing without vocals, without it being a solo. I dunno, it was nice :)
Next up, Sixteen Saltines. WAAAAAAAA. It got crazy, he and Daru knocked over some symbols and toms.
Then, a song that I literally did not recognize until it was nearly over. Ball and Biscuit. I felt SO stupid. it was an alternate version and for some reason my brain just freaked out. I couldn’t really hear the vocals and the guitar was different and I don’t know. Everyone keeps saying it was the best version of Ball and Biscuit they’d ever heard but I honestly didn’t even know what was going on. And then it was over. That was the end of it. He started bowing and looking out at the crowd. He looked at me over and over, so I blew him a kiss but he simply nodded with a poker face and looked away. I thought, “C’MON, JUST GIVE ME A FREAKING SMILE”. He finally did, just barely, right as he turned around to run off stage. I was the last person he looked at, then then he was gone. Daru (the drummer) smiled at me a few times before he walked off too. Oh yeah I forgot to mention that he smiled at me a couple of times during the show. He was a sweetheart.
SO there you have it. My Jack White experience. I could have mentioned a bunch of other things too, but this is long enough as it is. :)