There’s a real “come as you are” approach to dressing for South By Southwest — florescent hair, ironic T-shirts, giant medallions shaped like characters from Rugrats, Ghostbusters-style jump suits. Plus, the weather is all over the place. Cut-off shorts? Seen plenty of’em. Puffy parkas? Ran across at least one of those too.
But you don’t see a whole lot of natty three-piece suits, let alone ones topped off by sassy fedoras—unless you were at the Third Man Records/From The Basement showcase at Stage on Sixth Friday night. Third Man label boss and blues-loving bon vivant Jack White clad his support staff — band members and roadies alike — in natty attire, simultaneously reminding everybody that there was work to be done, and it was to be executed in White’s extremely particular style. (Unfortunately no photos were immediately available from the event, so the picture above is from an earlier show).
The formality was appropriate, as White’s set had grown into one of the most looked-forward-to musical events of the weekend, and the line to try to get in to see him and his label cohorts stretched for several blocks. People were curious about the new material from White’s forthcoming solo debut Blunderbuss, but they were also simply drawn in by his unique charisma and his chops as a performer. And by tapping into the past—classic country, Delta blues, cacophonous teenage garage rock—he has often predicted the future. What would he reveal this time?
White’s first order of business was indulging in one of the cornerstone rules of a rock show: Get’em early. READ FULL STORY