By now you should have read the full transcripts of Jack White’s Jack-be-nimble eerily deadpan between-song banter on blogs like Stereogum. If not, please indulge yourselves now, for in order to get a feel for the full monty, so to speak, of a certifiably amazing White Stripes gig, you must be privy to every nut and bolt of the show, not only the fire of the music. Jack’s stories of dead squirrels and young lads in tents, or musings on the day’s events as coffee addict tourist in NYC, or sarcastically dissing Spin and dedicating songs to those from Yonkers, NY must be heard (or read) to be believed. Since witnessing all Jack’s guises tonight, I’m certain that he must follow in the footsteps of iconic artists like Salvador Dali or Antonin Artaud, as both a madman and a genius.

Irving Plaza’s (aka The Fillmore) raging red night was a vibrant mix of old and new hits, with standouts such as “Dead Leaves”, an abbreviated “Jolene”, “Hotel Yorba”, Meg’s “Cold, Cold Night”, the killer Dylan “Blackjack Davey”, and “I Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” interspersed among a generous two hours of non-stop White Stripes dirty blues perfection.

The multi-microphone set up allowed for Jack to storm each corner of the stage depending on his mood. He never paused for a breather and, from my vantage point, didn’t seem to break a sweat. Nor did Meg. Are they for real?

You’d have to be a lobotomized automaton not to get caught in the fray of tonight’s joyful, mad performance.

The reinvented paradise that is the seemingly carefree, yet politically-charged cabaret of the Citizens Band, fronted in part by Jack’s otherworldly Pre-Raphaelite wife Karen Elson, (who really can sing!), proved the perfect way to ease into the night. You just can’t miss when your colorful collective includes blue-stockinged bubble blowers, top-hatted ring leaders, a sinewy sylph-like aerialist, and singers who dabble in performing tunes from the 1900′s, and manage to make them so fresh and potent for today. All in all, this show will be nearly impossible to top. –MVW