It was the MLB Opening Day for the Detroit Tigers last Friday (April 8), and Jack White was on hand to ensure the season got off to a stylish start by performing a slide-heavy reimagining of the US National Anthem.
Prior to the Detroit Tigers facing off against the Chicago White Sox, White took to the field armed with a batter-and-bruised hollowbody electric guitar and a slide strapped to his pinky finger, and served up a crowd-stirring instrumental take on The Star-Spangled Banner.
With generous lashings of vibrato, White makes his way up and down the fretboard for the anthem’s opening passages – with the subtle backing of his support band – executed via a twangy, unblemished clean tone.
Always one for experimenting with his sound, White then makes good use of his near-mythical pedalboard and triggers a speaker-rumbling fuzz pedal for a prolonged period, before returning to a clean, untouched tone to close out the classy rendition in an energetic style.
Despite the similarities in sonic structures, White’s version of the US National Anthem was decidedly tamer than Flea’s recent rendition, which saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ man perform a far wilder, embellishment-heavy take on The Star-Spangled Banner last week.
As for White himself, it certainly panned out to be a Friday to remember. After performing at the MLB Opening Day and releasing his new album, Fear of the Dawn, White then kicked off The Supply Chain Issues Tour at Detroit’s Masonic Temple theater, during which he proposed to – and immediately married – Olivia Jean.
Jean, who featured as the tour’s opening act, received a proposal from White while the pair performed Hotel Yorba – a 2001 White Stripes single that contains the lyric, “Let’s get married.” As far as proposal songs go, it’s pretty on-the-money.
The ceremony occurred only minutes later during the encore, with White, Jean and Third Man Record co-founder-turned-wedding officiator Ben Swank returning to the stage for formalities in front of the packed venue, which included White’s mother, Jean’s father and their close family.
White’s Supply Chain Issues Tour continues tomorrow (April 12) at Chicago’s Credit Union 1 Arena. The six-month stint around Europe and North America – which will also see White take a detour to perform at Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival in July – will conclude on September 15 in Louisville, Kentucky.
For a full list of tour dates, visit Jack White’s website.
Last week, Jack White sat down with Zane Lowe of Apple Music to discuss his new album, and revealed the piece of guitar advice he once received from Prince.