The White Stripes in Chicago

The White Stripes
August 30, 2005
Auditorium Theater
Chicago, IL

The White Stripes. Jack White. Meg White. Brother and sister. I’ve seen them once before at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, and I wasn’t impressed. I thought the venue had a lot to do with it, so I vowed to give the White Stripes another chance at winning me over. They were successful. I caught the second of three nights in Chicago at the Auditorium Theater. Good stuff.

I had never been to this venue before, and I was definitely impressed by the architecture, lighting, decoration, all of it. It was a cool place to see a show. I would definitely go back for another act at any time in the future…

The show was excellent. The stage was loaded with instruments—to the multiple keys setup on stage right to the drum set and tympanis stage left. Oh yes, and don’t forget about the marimba stage center flushed to the rear. They touched every instrument on stage at least once. The stage lighting was red, white, and black. They played a great mix of songs, featuring a random showing from past releases but easily focused on their latest release, Get Behind Me Satan. I enjoyed the album, again for exactly what it is, so I was psyched to see a bunch of my album favorites played live, including Passive Manipulation (split into “his” and “hers” segments at least forty minutes apart), The Nurse, and My Doorbell.

Honestly, there’s not much else to say about the show. If you’ve never seen The White Stripes, I imagine that they put on a pretty similar show each time they come out (there were definitely some theatrics to prove this). While I wouldn’t ever follow them port to port, I would definitely go see them again when they come on through Chicago. I got to bond with my little bro in the process, too.

As the show was good, damn did the crowd ever suck so much. Let me rephrase that—the people that we were sitting behind sucked it up for a lot of us. They stood up for no reason. We are in the balcony seats at The White Stripes show where hardly anyone else was standing up. Then, the idiots in front of us standup midway through Black Orchid and just stand there. They’re not dancing. They’re not “rocking.” I can hear screams of “Sit down!” and “You suck!” easily reminiscent of the scene in The Wedding Singer where George begins another version of Do You Really Want to Hurt Me. What’s more, I can’t actually see now because of it. My entire crew that went to the show was now completely blinded by a bunch of idiots standing up just to stand, and they were acknowledging the screams by turning around and raising up their hands as if to say, “thank you, thank you, we’re idiots…”

To the girl in their group, I grab her attention by tapping her on the shoulder.

“Hey, I don’t mean to be a dick. But, seriously now, you guys need to sit down,” I say.

“This is a rock concert!” screams the girl.

I respond. “Yes, I would be there right with you if the others in the balcony weren’t sitting down.”

“Well, if you were with me you’d be standing up…”

“Listen, there’s really no reason to bring negative energy here and cause a prison riot by standing up for no reason. You could have gotten tickets earlier for the floor or gotten better seats somewhere else, but you didn’t. I’d say that’s your problem, and please sit down.”

They sat. And boy, did they sit! They didn’t stand up halfway into the encore. I guess I told them. Or, whatever. I’m all for “standing” at a “rock” concert, but not when you’re going to cause a fight or mass hysteria all for no reason at all. They could see perfectly; not a view obstruction in my sight (which was their same line of sight).

Please, please, please learn how to be respectful to your other concert goers. It can make or break a show for some people.