Jack White Celebrates Birthday With Surprise Concert In Detroit

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David James Swanson
The Raconteurs photographed at Third Man Records in Detroit on July 9, 2019. 

Jack White celebrated his 43rd birthday at home in Detroit in Tuesday night with friends and family. And fans.

White and Raconteurs mate Brendan Benson, in town for the start of the group's North American tour this weekend, performed an acoustic concert for about 375 at White's Third Man Records Cass Corridor -- a show announced late Monday evening and an instant sell-out.

As White's mother and other relatives and Raconteurs bandmates watched from the balcony, Benson led the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" to White just before a rendition of White's "Love Interruption" and saluted the occasion once again towards the end of the set.  

White and Benson played a dozen songs over the course of 45 minutes, mixing several songs from the Raconteurs' new chart-topping third album Help Us Stranger, including the title track with covers -- Pink Floyd's "Fearless" and Little Richard's "Lucille" -- and the White Stripes' "As Ugly as I Seem" and "We're Going to Be Friends," the latter an on-the-spot addition that White dedicated to a eight-year-old fan named Stella who was sitting on the stage.The two also paid tribute to each other, with Benson performing the White's "Sugar Never Tasted So Good" and White returning the favor with Benson's "Metarie." 

Introducing the duo, Third Man Records executive Ben Blackwell pointed out that Tuesday's show took place 20 years to the day that White and Benson first performed together, on the lanes at the nearby Garden Bowl alley.

After a pair of warm-up shows last week in Aspen, Colo., the Raconteurs hit the road in earnest July 12-13 at Detroit's Masonic Temple Theatre with North American dates booked into November and a short South American run that same month.