The Dead Weather

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The Dead Weather
The Dead Weather (Photo by John Anderson)

The Dead Weather

Oct. 4, Zilker Park

In Puritan times, Alison Mosshart would burn at the stake. Fronting the Dead Weather – a band most commonly referred to as Jack White's latest side project – it was the Kills' leading lady that demanded total attention on Sunday. Dressed for a biker funeral, Mosshart appeared a woman possessed: prowling across the stage for opener "60 Feet Tall," shrieking and yelping through "Jawbreaker," and convulsing to the metallic thunder of standout "Hang You From the Heavens." It was as if she was doing a solo re-enactment of Black Snake Moan. Much like the ACL 2007 debut from White's other broken boy soldiers (the Raconteurs), the Dead Weather's wicked, Southern gothic blues – all whiskey, smoke, and blood – came to life with a confrontational velocity only hinted at on the quartet's lackluster new debut, Horehound, thanks in no small part to the white-heat guitar and organ drones of Dean Fertita. Never one to relinquish the spotlight, White took the lead out from behind his drum kit for a startling rendition of Them's slow blues lament "You Just Can't Win." As Mosshart sprawled out for a postcoital cigarette, White cooked up a lead guitar intro to the set climax "Will There Be Enough Water?," a murderous eight-minute levee-breaker, more of a stare-down than a duet. Stay behind her, Jack.

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