Thursday, June 17, 2010

Karen Elson - 2010-6-15 - Lincoln Hall - Chicago, IL

Karen Elson (Jack White's wife) surprised the hell out of this guy Tuesday night at Chicago's Lincoln Hall. I've been praising her debut record, The Ghost Who Walks (a childhood nickname of hers), since it's been available for streaming but I was a bit skeptical of her true ability. Any super model turned singer/songwriter that is married to Jack White and releases a solid record is going to raise an eye brow or two. Part of me thought "Alright, her husband is Jack White and he produced the record, no way she's going to pull this off" while the other part of me thought "Jack White is no phony and he wouldn't back it if he didn't believe in it, even if it is his wife," I was torn. Well, after watching her play a set that touched what I believe to be her entire record (no set list, sorry guys!) I can honestly say that Karen Elson is a true talent and she's definitely learned a thing or two about appearance from her husband. Her road crew consisted of two gentleman in 50's era black suits, pink oxfords, black ties and top hats. There was a definite vibe they were going for that they achieved quite well. The band looked like they were on stage at a burlesque house adorning similar clothes as the road crew (except for the stunning female bass player and Karen) and just oozing an old time vibe. The word I'm looking for isn't coming to me, can anyone take a peek at the pictures and let me know what you think? Karen is meant to be front and center; her red hair radiates a unique beauty that words cannot describe and while she's not overly tall (5'9") her slender frame gives the appearance of height.

A major highlight of the night was her stripped down, solo acoustic version of the song "The Ghost Who Walks" and, with the entire band, 'The Truth is in the Dirt." Her voice was top notch all night, hitting highs and lows with ease and I was even impressed with her guitar playing. Again, I wasn't expecting much from a former model, but she held her own amazingly well. Karen is on tour now, grab a ticket and check her out. Plus, you never know, maybe Jack White will be there.

Yes, Jack White ladies and gents. Thanks to ALady from the MMJ forum, I had the opportunity to stand next to and briefly speak to Mr. Jack White. If you've been following the blog the last few months you know of my passion for all that that man does. I truly believe he is one of the greatest artists of all time. I've gone over this quite a few times now so I'm going to post what I wrote on Facebook-

"He was at Karen's show in Chicago last night. Thanks to ALady (MMJ forum member) I was able to watch from the "VIP" area. We walked in and he was the first person on the rail of the balcony, I missed him initially actually. Once ALady and I got settled she said "Did you see Jack?" and I had no idea what she was talking about. I then went to "grab abeer" to scope it out and sure enough, he was right there. Hyperventilation was imminent. So I get back down to where ALady and I were at and sure enough, Jack White comes walking down and was standing 3-5 feet away for the rest of the show. First off, he looks so cool it's stupid. Second, he's a pretty big dude. Jack seemed very into the show and it took all I had in me to not be "that" fan and ask for a picture or autograph mid show. It killed me not to. In between songs I managed to step over, put my arm on his back and tell him that Karen's record is great and I'm really enjoying the show, he looked at me and gave a seemingly genuine "Hey, thanks man" and then continued watching. Short but sweet. He's been a pretty serious force in my rotation for the last 3-4 months and I really truly believe he's going to be remembered as one of the best so this was huge for me. All the while Alison Mossheart was standing right there, but more on that later......She was standing right next to me too. Not the entire time Jack was but for quite some time. She is strikingly beautiful and I have no idea how that much noise comes from her petite frame. After the show we got to grab a handshake/fist bump with her and exchange a word or two, she looked like she was enjoying herself. It was pretty surreal."