April 22, 2015 - BOISE, ID (The Egyptian Theater)
Posted 22 April 2015 - 10:26 PM
The seating capacity is only 700 something. Almost 200 less than Alaska. Social media posts and reviews may be limited
Posted 23 April 2015 - 12:33 AM
My wife's first word to me this morning, when I thought she was still asleep, was "Egyptian."
I said, "Huh?" before realizing that she must've already checked her phone to learn that Jack would be in Boise tonight at the Egyptian Theatre, a renovated pre-war former movie palace. We'd seen it coming of course, Idaho being the logical next step after Alaska on the current acoustic mini-tour.
Soon I had texts from my manager at work, asking if I was going downtown to get in line. He called me on the phone. "I have to see what my boss says first," I told him. He laughed and told me he and his wife would see me in front of the Egyptian soon.
When we arrived, around 8:45 a.m., we counted less than 200 people in line. This seemed to put us in good shape, since the venue holds around 750. The line extended quickly for a while, then held steady. A second wave around 10:00 a.m. pushed the line around three sides of the block and eventually all the way back along the fourth side of the square, to where it started. Those poor souls at the end had no chance of getting in.
Periodically, members of the local concert promotion company in charge of the show would walk by and inform us of the rules for the show. Chief among them: anyone seen using a camera or phone during the show would have the device confiscated, and the show would stop.
I don't know if it was all part of Jack's plan, but the experience of ditching work to go sit in line made the show more of an event. We talked with people near us in line and had lengthy discussions with each other about music, aesthetics, human behavior. We wondered aloud why he bothered charging $3 per ticket — why not make it free? The $2500 or so brought in from ticket sales wouldn't even pay for the cost of renting the venue, let alone paying the musicians, production, and travel costs. I suppose the number three is all just part of the JW mythos.
After getting my wristband at noon, (no. 00356, "Jack White, April 2015, IDAHO"), we got some sandwiches and then my friends and I separated. I went to work for a few hours and had trouble concentrating. I came home, made dinner, and played with my daughter on the deck. My wife got home from work, and I kissed her goodbye and headed back downtown. (As a nurse, she had been seeing patients all day and couldn't stand in line for a bracelet. She was crushed to miss the show.)
I slipped into the Egyptian after the doors had opened and found a spot near the back of the main floor — a great sightline to the stage, like just about every seat in the house. I met up with my friends and we speculated about what we'd get from Jack and his band.
The tour manager took the stage and implored us again not to take photos and videos. But unlike any other such announcement I've heard, this was delivered with conviction and an appeal to live in the moment. The message resonated with the crowd, and we cheered.
The stage had no backdrop, just the bare brick of the theatre's back wall. A few vintage ribbon mics sat on stands, and a boombox sat on a stool playing old-timey music for a while.
The band came on stage, looking classy, and I felt momentarily ashamed of Boise, a city that doesn't take pride in dressing up for things. I saw maybe three men wearing jackets or ties all night. Several audience members were wearing sports jerseys or shorts.
It's already hard to remember the whole setlist, but some highlights for me were: "Do," "Carolina Drama," "Love Interruption," "A Martyr For My Love For You" (from the intro, I thought for a second it would be "I Think I Smell A Rat"!), "Sugar Never Tasted So Good," "Hotel Yorba," "We're Going To Be Friends," "The Same Boy You've Always Known," and "Blunderbuss." For some reason I kept hoping for "I Want To Be the Boy to Warm Your Mother's Heart," but of course that never materialized — no piano.
Jack told a long version of the story about his misadventures in trying to record the B-sides for the "Hotel Yorba" single in the actual hotel with Meg and Brendan Benson. He did very little pandering to the crowd, other than saying he was glad to be playing in Idaho for the first time.
"You've Got Her In Your Pocket" was a remarkable start to the encore, which ended with "Good Night, Irene" of course. Jack had the crowd truly in his pocket the whole while, getting us to be quiet at the right moments and save our cheering for times when it didn't disrupt but added to the experience. I don't know how he does it.
My friends and I reflected on the rarity of the evening. Jack and his band were somehow able to divorce us from not only our daily concerns but from the present moment of the world. We were transported to a place where all that mattered was simple enjoyment of the experience of music, and for that we were thankful.
Posted 23 April 2015 - 01:16 AM
Edited by CaseOfThePunks, 23 April 2015 - 01:17 AM.
Posted 23 April 2015 - 01:51 AM
Posted 23 April 2015 - 08:56 AM
What an awesome review. Thank you so much for sharing.
Also, like COTP said... DO!!!!!!!!!
Posted 23 April 2015 - 10:40 AM
thanks for the review - sounds like a lovely experience. glad you got in!
Posted 23 April 2015 - 10:52 AM
This tour is dredging up such a stew of emotions in me. I am so, so happy for folks who are going to these shows because I know exactly how special an experience it must be, and I can imagine based on my own experiences just what they're feeling. I'm excited for Jack because these shows have got to be just as special for him as they are for the audiences, if not more so. And I'm bereft for myself because I know what I'm missing. I've actually been trying to avoid conversations about this tour because I don't want to wallow in self-induced misery, but I read this thread anyway. Despite the fact that it made me cry, thank you for writing about your experience, fanshawe. It's wonderful of you to share as much of it as you could with everyone else. And I sympathise so much with your wife!
Posted 23 April 2015 - 04:06 PM
Well that line sounds like the reason we like lines for JW events - they're always fun and interesting
Sounds like a great experience - glad someone in the LR got to be there. Thanks for sharing!!
Posted 23 April 2015 - 04:14 PM
Yes, thanks very much for sharing your thoughts, fanshawe.
Posted 24 April 2015 - 10:11 AM
Fanshawe: Thanks for your detailed experience! You're so lucky to have been a part of such a unique show. I'm so jealous of "Carolina Drama!" I appreciate people who put a little more thought into what they wear at shows, particularly if they take place in a historic old theater. You dress to respect the music, right? Maybe I think about it too much.
Posted 24 April 2015 - 03:41 PM
Yeah, I didn't even know the song, I must confess. Obscure B-side, first time played live apparently. And it looks like he played it the next night in Jackson, too.
Posted 24 April 2015 - 05:08 PM
What is this "Blunderbuss" you speak of, and how may I procure a copy?
Posted 24 April 2015 - 05:57 PM
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