A Night to Remember: Jack White insists on cell-phoneless show

Jack White plays with drummer Daru Jones. Before the end of the show, White allowed his band a loose jam without him.

"Jack White @ Firefly Music Festival" by ConcertTour is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Jack White plays with drummer Daru Jones. Before the end of the show, White allowed his band a loose jam without him.

Luke Crawford, Staff Writer

With my phone locked in a magnetic bag, all that drew my attention was the giant blue curtain in front of me.

Jack White has insisted that cell phones during concerts are a distraction. Because of this, security at Starlight Theater and his other shows provide small magnetic-locking pouches for audience members to store their phones until the end of the show.

So I didn’t get a picture, I didn’t get any videos, I didn’t even know what time it was most of the show. And honestly, I couldn’t have been happier about it.

The band started off like a bandolier of firecrackers. Before I knew it had started, they were already ahead of me. The tension builds slowly but surely as the blue curtain lifts off the floor. 

On the stage were four musicians: Jack White himself on guitar, a rockabilly bass player named Dominic Davis, a steel-fingered piano player called Quincy McCary and one bucket-hatted maniac of a drummer named Daru Jones.

After the first song, my eyes were glued to the stage. White has claimed he never uses a setlist, relying instead on the emotional energy of the crowds to inspire the next song. Admittedly, I thought he might be exaggerating. 

He was not. Often, the end of one song became the beginning of another, and before I could place the title, his band had already started up again. Their collective sense of musicality seemed to run through invisible strings of yarn that White controlled like a puppeteer.

At one point when White was playing piano, doing a loose jam that wasn’t part of any song, he paused for a moment and shouted, “B Minor.” His band immediately switched keys and off they went.              

When the concert ended, it felt like I had been there for about half an hour. In reality I had just spent the last two and a half hours with my mind on nothing but the band in front of me.

The four maestros took a bow as the blue curtain sank in front of them. All we could see now was blue velvet, but no one would forget what happened behind it.