The White Stripes Rock the Daily Show

I had my TiVo set for this one, but there really was no way that I was going to miss this broadcast live anyways.

On Thursday night, The White Stripes played the first-ever musical set on The Daily Show. There was a lot of anticipation for this show from the very beginning, considering the way they announced it, and Jon Stewart was quick to dispel some of the rumors that might have been floating around elsewhere. In a weird way, Jon was quick to make sure that everyone knew this wasn’t just some publicity stunt. The Daily Show was genuinely interested in bringing on a musical guest, and I personally think it was a great idea. Based on the first-ever performance, I think they have a couple adjustments that need to be made to before people really go gung-ho for it.

I really enjoy The White Stripes for their music–but definitely not for their superior interviewee skills. I saw their appearance on Charlie Rose recently (where Charlie asks outright “When did you two meet?” to which Jack snapped, “Well, we formed the band in blah blah…), and it was painful to watch. At least, it was painful at the time.

If I think back, I guess it was amazing to see Jack try to explain the demons inside his head telling him to make music while Meg was trying to figure out if she was in a band or not in the first place. She basically repeated something close to what Jack said but she made it seem that she was thinking about her answers more.

I’m not saying that Charlie would be easy to get an interview from–I really don’t watch enough of his show to know either way–but it just seemed that they were struggling to find answers that still allowed them to appear deep, dark, and mysterious. The approach to their Daily Show appearance was slightly less impressive…

They hardly said anything, especially Meg. They were’t given much of a chance by Jon Stewart, though, who quipped “But, how’s the pot?” referring to their recent jaunt through Eastern Europe. He shuffled them over to their stage and waited a few seconds for their okay to go. I was psyched to see that they did have the stage decorated in a very minimalistic (and therefore very characteristic) set–it did look great on the TV, that’s for sure. Really, nothing like the Under Blackpool Lights DVD if you’ve ever seen it.

The first song they played was The Denial Twist. It was a great version, good energy, good close-ups, good stuff all around. However, they went to commercial which I was actually surprised by. I don’t know, it just seemed to take away the flow for me. I would have preferred two in a row, that’s all.

When they came back from to do My Doorbell, it’s great and all-good and I’m enjoying what I’m seeing. Too bad it gets cut off at the end of the show for The Colbert Report. I liked seeing Jack’s piano up close with the mirror to his right. I imagine that’s one of the ways that he sends his demonic commands to make puppet-Meg’s extremeties move with that nasty blues-rock sound. Yeah, I’m just messing around. It was cool, but The Daily Show better not cut off the next guest. That sucked.

All in all, a good first-round attempt for the The Daily Show and musical guests. I’m definitely going to give a thumbs-up for the stage setup, and a big, hearty thumbs-down for the flow, cut-off My Doorbell, and totally awkward pot question at the end of the interview.

The Modern Age has videos of both The Denial Twist and My Doorbell–even with the interview at the beginning.