The Dead WeatherThe Dead Weather, or perhaps better described as The White Stripes front man Jack White's other, other band (the first 'other' being The Raconteurs) is a potent mix between the aforementioned White, and members who've done their time in well loved guitar-rock bands such as The Kills, and Queens of the Stone Age.

So while I personally wouldn't call them a 'supergroup', these talented musicians have proved themselves elsewhere and therefore I expected something pretty special. The good news is my expectations were not only matched, but bettered, as the live angle really brought a new edge to their dark, bluesy rock sound that wasn't nearly as present on their debut record, 'Horehound'.

Make no mistake; it was all about Jack White. As one of the most exciting guitarists to come out of the last two decades, he and his projects have a dedicated following from many who believe he's carrying the torch of rock into modern times, without forgetting its roots.

The big twist is that White doesn't play guitar in The Dead Weather; instead he's in the back, banging the drums.

For those more obsessively into White's output, this isn't a huge surprise given he was originally a drummer for other bands before he found mainstream success with a guitar in The White Stripes. But the burning question was how does he fare? I'm happy (and somewhat jealous) to report that he's just as raw and acrobatic on the drums as he is on the guitar. This was especially evident on hard rocking 'Hang You From The Heavens', and also while providing some lead vocals as well as the beat in the brooding 'Rocking Horse'. Above all, he was clearly enjoying himself as he bounced around and struck the skins with ferocious precision.

The same could be said about the entire band. Singer Alison Mosshart (from indie rock band The Kills) struts, dances, screams, shouts and of course, sings her way across the stage. Guitarist Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) showed his blues-rock guitar skills as he ripped one scorching solo to the next with ease. Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs) gels extremely well with White as he rounds out the rhythm section on the bass. They all appear to be having the time of their lives as they combine talents to produce something raw and powerful. It appeared to me as if they'd be playing with just as much energy if there was nobody around, purely for the love of it. It was refreshing to see.

Though, from the crowd's perspective it was still all about Jack White. The loudest cheers came from White's brief moments at the front of the stage. He occasionally retired his drum duties to sing lead on a track, but the highpoint of the night was donning his native instrument for the sombre blues of Will There Be Enough Water?. While Fertita showed that he is a great guitarist in his own right, the brilliant tension that White was able to extract from his solos during this one track reminded an adoring crowd just how well he can work a guitar.

If there was anything negative to say about the show, it's that they do suffer from the 'one album, limited material' syndrome. At a couple of points, the songs started to get a bit same-ish. But those periods were fleeting, and some excitement was quickly injected into the mix once again.

Overall, the energy that these accomplished musicians brought to their dark, modern blues-rock proved that combining enthusiasm and yes, a fair amount of freakish talent, is a recipe for a rocking, crowd-pleasing show.


THE DEAD WEATHER
Australian Tour March 2010

Friday 19 March & Saturday 20 March (NEW SHOW)
Forum Theatre, Melbourne
18+
Ticketek 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au

Tuesday 23 March
The Tivoli, Brisbane
18+
Ticketek 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au

Friday 26 March
Enmore Theatre, Sydney
All Ages
Ticketek 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au

Monday 29 March
Metro City, Perth
18+
Ticketek 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au

Now playing Melbourne

Room on the Broom