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August 21, 2009

The Dead Weather at Terminal 5, NYC, 7/17/09

Meet the Dead Weather: Jack White of the White Stripes and the Raconteurs, Alison Mosshart of the Kills, Dean Fertita of the Queens of the Stone Age, and Jack Lawrence of the Raconteurs. White drums and Mosshart sings—that’s all you really need to know. Oh, and they’re dirty as hell.

I mean really dirty. The four band members slither on stage, black hair over their faces, ready to rock. They wear an aggressive amount of leather, and adorn their stage with a backdrop of what looks like a Death Eater from Harry Potter. In their encore, they cover Pentagram, AKA the originators of doom-metal, and they spew lyrics like “I like to grab you by the hair/And drag you to the devil.” It feels a little bit like being in the movie Blade.

The band’s Nashville origin explains much: dusty and raw, this is the kind of badass bluesy grunge rock that could only come from the South. When asked about the sound of his new band, White replies, “Perfect. Ferocious.” That about sums it up. But for all of us who revere Jack White, this is a bit of a change. He’s traded in his former candystriper colors for black and taken a seat at the drums—but certainly not a backseat. Throughout the show the crowd worshipped White’s every move; the minute he even looked at his guitar, the place exploded. But Mosshart isn’t one to be upstaged. She literally gets as close to the front of the stage as she can, at times climbing up onto the front amp, her lean body teetering over the crowd

After performing nearly every song off their album Horehound, the band finishes the set with “Will There Be Enough Water?,” or in other words, the Dead Weather does O Brother, Where Art Thou. White finally takes over on guitar, ready to shred, while Mosshart stands to the side, eyes glued to White as she sucks on her cigarette. This song brings the show’s best moment, when White and Mosshart sing lip to lip on either side of a single mic like a strung out Lady and the Tramp. Not only is it perfect and ferocious, but it’s also the sexiest thing anyone’s ever seen.

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