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Concert Reviews:
Dead Weather Storms Into The Fillmore

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Monday, July 27, 2009

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DETROIT -- In the early days of its career, the Dead Weather has developed an affinity with Detroit sports -- appropriately, given the band's myriad Motor City rock 'n' roll ties.

The quartet, formed in Nashville by Detroit expatriate Jack White of the White Stripes and Raconteurs, made its local debut in June with a surprise show before a couple of hundred fans at the Magic Stick the night of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. On Friday (July 24), the Dead Weather charged back into town to play across the street from Comerica Park while the Tigers were completing a day/night double-header sweep of the Chicago White Sox.

Over at the Fillmore Detroit, White and his cohorts pitched a winner, too, albeit one that featured all the same songs from its previous show in a slightly altered order.

With White on drums rather than guitar -- though the biggest ovation of the night from the 2,500 or so at the Fillmore came when he picked the latter instrument up for some wiry soloing during "Will There Be Enough Water?" -- the Dead Weather is a different proposition from either of his other two bands. Its brand of blues-rock is darker and more Gothic-flavored, in many ways closer similar to singer Alison Mosshart's band, The Kills. On Friday, the group -- which also includes Ferndale resident Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age, the Waxwings) and "Little" Jack Lawrence (the Raconteurs, the Greenhornes, Blanche) -- delivered that mix with even greater ferocity than it did in June, filling the bigger stage and its hour-long show with raw intensity and blistering musicianship.

Though White was the Dead Weather's unquestioned draw, he happily let Mosshart give him a run for his money, and she deployed a casual but swaggering sexuality and deceptively cavalier attitude, perching on the stage monitors and hanging over the Fillmore's front row while wringing out angsty, emotive renditions of "Hang You From the Heavens," "No Hassle Night" and "Treat Me Like Your Mother," all from the group's recently released debut album, "Horehound." Fertita, a Raconteurs sideman during the group's first tour, delivered most of the guitar heroics -- particularly during "60 Feet Tall," "Bone House," "Rocking Horse" and a cover of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band's "A Child of a Few Hours Is Burning To Death" -- and contributed keyboard colorings to the likes of "So Far From Your Weapon," "Will There Be Enough Water?" and a cover of Them's "You Just Can't Win," which White sang from the front of the stage.

The Dead Weather also ripped through Friday's encore, which sandwiched its own "Treat Me Like Your Mother" between two more covers -- Pentagram's "Forever My Queen" and Bob Dylan's "New Pony." It brought the night to a short but trippily sweet end and certainly whetted appetites for another return, even on a night when there isn't a major sporting event in town.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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