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PCR #169 (Vol. 4, No. 25). This edition is for the week of June 16--22, 2003.
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CONCERT REVIEW    by Terence Nuzum
w/ The Whirlwind Heat
USF Gymnasium--Tampa, Fl. 6/18/03
by Terence Nuzum

Jack and Meg of White Stripes
Photo by Jaisen Crockett

The show opened with a lousy band not worthy of mention here. Namely, The Whirlwind Heat. They have now more than ever cemented in my mind that they are one of the worst curses put on Indie rock. I figured that live they would somehow win me over like The Raveonettes did. But oh no, they achieved the opposite. What was bad on their album was worse in person. They did have one moment at the end of their set where all three band members commenced in a noise orgy by the drum set (don't ask), but it was hardly worth even $1 of the ticket stub. Basically, I just wanted them to get off the stage and let the real rock n' roll commence. So not soon after the trash known as The Whirlwind Heat was cleaned from the stage the one and only Jack and Meg White appeared. Without getting ridiculous it was like watching legends walk out.

Photo by Jaisen Crockett
Though they have made only four records and are basically still a relativley new band it was still hard to imagine that I was in a couple of seconds actually going to be watching The White Stripes live.... then Bam! the rock n' roll fury of "Dead Leaves and The Dirty Ground" blasted from the speakers. Yes it was happening...good old fashioned rock n' roll. The Stripes set for the night consisted of of course new songs like "Seven Nation Army" and "Black Math" (which literally burned the barn if ya know what I mean) but actually there were some suprises. For one (and thankfully) they didnt pander to teeny boppers and play "Fell In Love With A Girl" but instead hit us old school Stripes fans at home with early tracks like "Screwdriver" and "Your Pretty Good Looking (For A Girl)". Actually very little if anything was played from White Blood Cells (in fact after an unenthusiatic reception for "I'm Finding It Harder To Be A Gentleman", Jack stops it in the middle, says, "This song has no life in it," and burns out a song from De Stijl instead). The most amazing moment occured during the b-side "Jolene". White's amazing slide guitar and desperate vocals came together and gave one of those moments where the hair on your arms stands up and you are just blown away completely. Meg White though seemed to be the big hit with the audience when she sang her sad ditty "In The Cold Cold Night".

All in all the night ended with ear-blasting power of pure rock n' roll. You know the kind you hear about from your parents, The Led Zeppelin concerts and even the mythic '50s tours like Winter Dance Party (Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Big Bopper). I now know the feeling they had when they said those were the good old days of rock. They had those and now my generation have this. Garage Rock I think is here to stay and after what was on display this night and what will go on display many other nights all over the country, I think there's no stopping it. The Stripes were triumphant at least on this night in Tampa and dispel any rumors that any may have that they can't live up to their albums live.

Hail the new rock n' roll. I was at its altar and my happy eardrums were the sacrifice.

This issue's Digital Divide was composed by Terence Nuzum, ©2003. All photos are ©2003 by Jaisen Crockett, staff photog of the USF newspaper The Oracle, and are used here with permission. Webpage design and all graphics herein, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.    All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.