Jack White was not a happy camper this weekend, performing for a sold-out and perhaps dull crowd in New York City at the Radio City Music Hall. After bickering with a shirtless man in the front row and complaining that, “Jesus Christ, is this an NPR convention?” (because you know how those NPR conventions can get, with all their shirtless goers and such), the former White Stripes frontman cut his set short and jumped-show. The audience stuck around hoping for a second act or encore, but were disappointed when the lights were turned on and ushers were sent in to explain that, “The show is over, we don’t know why.” Woomp woomp.
To the streets they poured, swarming around the backstage door where — rowdy like a Jack White incited mob wont be — they chanted things like “f*** Jack White!” and “Jack White kills puppies” and began tweeting angrily with the hashtag #JackWhiteDebacle. Some, according to the New York Observer, even returned the t-shirts and posters they had bought at the show.
Although short, the set White did play sounds sweet, as it included songs from his recent solo album, Blunderbuss, as well as hits from the White Strips and his coterie of other projects. By most reports the audience showed “visible enthusiasm,” at least as much so as the seated venue allowed, and so it’s hard to say what exactly set White off. It could have been that “NPR-ish” crowd bit, or that he was unhappy with the number of tickets that had gone to scalpers or that the venues sound quality wasn’t up to par. Regardless, White is a top-rate performer and this sort of walk-off seems in poor form. Especially considering that, that same night while performing out in Arizona, Justin Bieber threw up TWICE during his set and still made it through to an encore.
Last night’s show seems to have gone more smoothly.