The Night of Jack White at SXSW

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I took many pictures of Jack White through an open window, but I don't think it was technically stalking. (Nathan Thompson)
I took many pictures of Jack White through an open window, but I don't think it was technically stalking. (Nathan Thompson)
Updated: 3/17/2012 1:53 pm Published: 3/17/2012 12:26 pm

The problem with South By Southwest in Austin is that there are so many people that it's hard to get into shows of really big musicians.  Jack White on Friday night is a prime example. The former White Stripe himself was scheduled to play a show at 11:45 pm. We stopped by the venue around 9 pm. The line was already half a block long outside.  That's not the main problem though. Here's the main problem: only people with super expensive badges could even go to the show! I had a crew wristband. My friends, who played in SXSW, had artist wristbands. We could have camped out for a week and still not have gotten in. Oh well, at least we didn't have to wait in line.

(more story after the jump)

The crew on 6th Street outside the venue where Jack White will soon play. This is not the highlight of the night on the street outside the venue where Jack White will soon play.

No other bands we actually recognized were playing at the time. So with no knowledge of who was playing, we went to a venue sponsored by Merge Records (they have artists like Arcade Fire and M. Ward). It was a good choice. The Love Language was a very entertaining rock band, and we were very close. We were eye level with the band, and my foot was periodically on the step leading up to the stage. I recommend you check them out.

See, I told you I was close.

Next on the agenda, Thai food on 6th Street. Solid choice and a nice chance to rest.

Then it was time for a total shot in the dark. The venue Jack White was playing at actually had a stage next to the street with windows that are sometimes open. We thought Jack would most likely play on a different stage less visible from the street. We were wrong.

Jack White as seen from the street and through a window.

The view from the street was actually really good. There were probably about two hundred of us watching from outside. I was closer to the action than I will probably ever be at a normal Jack White concert. The audio wasn't great out there, but you could definitely hear the songs.

That's me in the foreground. That's Jack White in the background.

So Jack White has two different bands--one all female and one all male.  He supposedly decides which one to use hours before the show, or so I hear. Tonight was the all-female band. They were great.  The set was great. And then it was over.

The backup singer kept obstructing our view of Jack White, but I've long since forgiven her.

We decided to stick around because there was a TBA at 1 am on the venue's schedule. Hey, Arcade Fire is in town and not on anyone's schedule.  No Arcade Fire tonight, but after probably a ten minute or so break, Jack White jogs back on stage ... this time with the all male band.  It was, again, great.

No backup singer in the way for this set. And the crowd rejoiced!

Sadly, it was my first Jack White concert. I doubt it will be my last. I imagine no other ones will be quite as unique, and I guarantee you I won't get nearly as good of pictures the next time. Jack White has a STRICT no picture policy, even cell phone pictures. THEY WILL KICK YOU OUT OF THE SHOW. Luckily, they couldn't kick me out of the street outside of the show. The pictures in this blog are pictures I took through the window. I also have wonderful HD videos of the show. The videos might just have to stay in my personal collection though. Sorry. I have to keep some things for myself.

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