Dead Weather’s Tiny Afternoon Show at Home Sweet Home. Plus, A Trip Upstairs to Jack White’s Third Man Records Pop-Up Store


A white van carrying Dead Weather showed up around noon. Alison Mosshart emerged first, in sunglasses, tossing her cigarette on the pavement while White lagged behind, ignoring autograph requests and trying his best to look discreet with his head down. First impression? The guy’s head is massive. He’s also jacked.

It turns out the “in-store” gig wasn’t really that at all. The band played downstairs at the bar Home Sweet Home. It’s the kind of damp, musty dive with worn-out furniture that White used to play before the fame of the White Stripes.

Jack White gets slagged pretty often for having too many things going on (being in 387 bands, producing records, appearing in films, etc). But seeing him bashing away behind a kit in a dingy place like this was definitely something special. It was a chance to see him in his former element. He played drums in high school bands. Behind a drum kit, he’s able to control his signature dynamic outbursts more than ever.

Dead Weather played about six songs. The chanting number “So Far From Your Weapon” came out like noise-rock meets ’60s-garage. After heading offstage, they returned with White apologizing to people in the back for not being able to see, and then launched into an encore of “Treat Me Like Your Mother.” It sounded like an evil sister to early White Stripes material like “Sugar Never Tasted So Good,” with Mosshart and White doing some crazed back-and-forth shouting during the chorus.
After the gig, security adamantly kicked everyone out. While I stood at the bar, White was on his way out. He told a dude next to me, “I meant to say hello to you at Glastonbury.” I shook White’s hand and filed upstairs.

Up at the Third Man Records pop-up store, White did not work the register. Matt Pinfield did.

The Third Man store’s design is bright, with shooting-target wallpaper and a giant black-and-yellow record label logo emblazoned on the back wall. The selection is small, with lots of Stripes seven inches and other Third Man Records releases. There are some rare items, including two White Stripes Lomo cameras (one named “Jack,” the other “Meg”) that were leftover from a previous tour (just under $200). Also in stock is the second pressing of the White Stripes early single “Let’s Shake Hands” off Italy Records ($100). The coolest item? A $125 creepy glow-in-the-dark print by Rob Jones. Seemed a little overpriced, especially after seeing Jack White in a bar. For free.