I finally forced myself out the door in time to be at the venue by four. There were three groups there already, about a dozen folks altogether, some of whom had driven distances similar to mine and others who'd been there since 8:30 in the morning. Having them to hang out and talk with helped keep me from climbing the walls while we waited to get in to the venue.
The opening act, The Ettes, included an incredibly powerful woman on drums but was otherwise forgettable. After their fourth song I'd had enough and began wishing that each successive tune was their last.
When The Dead Weather came on, I did a serious disservice to Alison, Dean, and LJ. I have to admit to barely acknowledging their presences on the stage. I'd ended up with exactly the spot I was hoping for, on the rail right in front of LJ with an unobstructed view of Jack's drum kit. From the moment I caught sight of his tall form strolling out from the dark at the back of the stage, my eyes were immediately drawn and remained on him throughout the band's set. I remember a few glances at LJ when he momentarily stepped into my line of sight, and a few seconds of locking eyes with Alison in a staring contest as she leaned out from the stage in my direction (she looked away first, turning and stalking back to the other side of the monitors).
I could go on at length about the facial tics I noticed, the tricks with the drumsticks, what it was like watching Jack's fingers on the fretboard of his guitar, but I'm honestly not sure how much of this experience I really want to describe. There are times when sharing something can make it more special. But there are other times when a moment is so meaningful that it needs to be held inside where it's safe from being trivialized. Jack himself has commented on a similar feeling-- At a promo event for It Might Get Loud, he was asked about the conversations between himself, Jimmy Page, and The Edge that didn't make it into the film. He allowed that there had been quite a bit of unused footage of the three of them together. Asked to elaborate on those bits, and whether he'd learned anything from his co-stars, he demurred and said that those moments were special and he was keeping them for himself. That's exactly how I feel about this show. Just as Jack was totally wrapped up in his music on that stage tonight, I was totally wrapped up in experiencing both the music and his presence. I know what I felt in the moment and I know what it meant to me. And that's enough.
The one thing I will say, though, is that after so many days of anticipation, it was over way too quickly.
Setlist for my own memory and anyone who's interested (not necessarily in correct order):
60 Feet Tall
Hang You From the Heavens
You Just Can't Win
Blue Blood Blues
Hustle & Cuss
So Far From Your Weapon
Die By the Drop
Child of a Few Hours
Will There Be Enough Water?
I Can't Hear You
I Cut Like a Buffalo
Treat Me Like Your Mother