Jack White is arguably the modern master of blues, so it was with great sadness that we listened to the mediocrity brought forth by his other other side project The Dead Weather last year. Alas, The Dead Weather’s second album is due for release soon. But in the meantime, fans have Jack White’s shining moments to go back to with the release of Under The Great White Northern Lights, the new live CD/DVD release from The White Stripes.

This is the first live album from the band and the enclosed DVD, instead of being a mundane collections of all their music videos (like a lot of other bands’ space-fillers are), is a documentary that contains on- and off-stage footage from the band’s 2007 tour across Canada.

The 16-track CD kicks it up to the highest gear immediately with “Let’s Shake Hands” – it’s a loud, grungy, energetic track that is often far from melodic but will get you into the concert mood in a matter of seconds. Subsequent tracks “Blue Orchid,” “Icky Thump,” and “Fell In Love With A Girl” are some of the other epic hits that this CD holds. “Seven Nation Army” closes the concert off with such raw guitar power that it’ll leave you shell-shocked for a long while afterwards

While the focus of this review is not the film itself, it does still need to be credited for being a compelling and well-made documentary. It makes effective use of the band’s red, black and white colors, and covers the best events on the tour – from sweaty, crowded gigs to the one-note concert they held in Newfoundland.

The infinite deluxe and limited editions that this CD set comes in make it more of a must-have collector’s item for long-time fans than an essential piece of new music for trendsetters to run out and buy. But it’s fun, loud, rocking and reminds us how great how great Jack and Meg White are together (even if The Dead Weather made us forget that about Jack for a while).


  • ngarun
    ngarun on

    The White Stripes are great live, so glad to finally have a DVD that captures that! White Stripes will always be my fav Jack White project though The Raconteurs and Dead Weather are both pretty decent.

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