Seeing Jack White and Radiohead in the same week was interesting. Here is a list of ways my experiences differed:
Jack White played material from every conceivable corner of his career, reimagined by new set of disparate musicians; Radiohead’s set was mostly brand new, with the same lineup as 199whatever plus sometimes another drummer (Phiw x2.)
Jack White’s lighting was minimal but the costumes were very deliberate (including his awkward custom guitar strap); Radiohead’s lightshow was out of this world but they dressed comfortably.
I’d never seen solo Jack White; I’d seen Radiohead before.
Jack was in a packed “ballroom” (roseland); Radiohead was in a spacious “center” (prudential).
His encore came out of left field (almost literally) and shocked the crowd; their encores were expected and timed to the minute.
He improvised his setlist and kept everyone, even his bandmates, guessing in terms of titles, tempos, and tenacity; their setlist was so carefully executed that the cameramen filming for their huge gliding screens could accurately anticipate their movements and distort or superimpose live images seemingly effortlessly.
Each drummer—one from the girl band, one from the boy…er…male band—was super hard-hitting and uniquely impressive; both drummers were similarly subtle and solid.
He was in ctrl and calling the shots; they’d all called the shots beforehand.
Sloppy and organic; tight and packaged.
unique experience; expert performance.
And now (because it happened to occur to me while I was cooking dinner) the things that Jack White and Woody Allen have in common:
1) They work with varied and sometimes inconceivable collaborators (but always ultimately preserve their own voice.)
2) They’re self-obsessed but don’t take themselves too seriously.
3) They love reimagining an old medium and/or story-telling technique.
4) Make us evaluate relationships that test our social instincts for (not technically) incest.
5) Kind of do the same thing over and over again.
6) love-interest/muses (for a time)
7) want to be loved