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Jack White Road Tests 'Boarding House Reach' Songs, White Stripes Cuts at Intimate Detroit Show

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David James Swanson
Jack White

Jack White warmed up for his Boarding House Reach world tour -- again -- on Wednesday night (April 19) by giving fans in his home town of Detroit a special treat.

Breaking from two days of rehearsals nearby, White performed for the first time ever at his Third Man Records Cass Corridor store in Detroit, also the site of his Third Man Recording pressing plant. The 40-minute show -- on the eve of White's formal tour opener at Little Caesars Arena -- was announced mid-day via social media, with lines materializing up and down the block almost immediately, with nearly 400 fans, mostly from Third Man's The Vault club, crowding into the store for the event.

The show followed a series of small venue shows White performed at Third Man's Nashville location and in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, London and Paris.

"You know I'm gonna come here correct," the black-clad White told the crowd, which included his mother and some siblings, early in the show. "Before I play the pizza arena you know I'm gonna play Third Man Records Cass Corridor!" He and his four piece band kicked things off with a furious version of "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground," a kind of nod to the White Stripesearliest shows at the nearby and now defunct Gold Dollar club.

White mostly surveyed his solo career, however, picking three songs -- "Over and Over and Over," "Why Walk the Dog" and a frenetically funky, Detroit-boosting "Corporation" -- from the chart-topping Boarding House Reach along with the title tracks from his Blunderbuss and Lazaretto albums. The quintet sounded tight and dialed in, the two keyboards complementing White's guitar pyrotechnics, and "Lazaretto" in particular became an extended, vampy epic that led to an equally intense pairing of White Stripes deep cuts, "Little Bird" and "Catch Hell Blues."

It was a quick show that still managed to cover a lot of ground and certainly showed White and company are ready for the run of big shows that start Thursday night. 


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