Thursday, August 27th 2009
Shows: The Dead Weather
Third Man Records set up shop next to the Regent Theater in Los Angeles yesterday, where music fans partial to Jack White’s brand of rock can buy assorted items & novelties from his many projects. Business at the store is set to run through Friday, after which they pack it all in and head home to Nashville – but The Dead Weather stopped in for a high-noon show yesterday, so naturally I joined the sycophantic masses that wrapped around the block.
The heat was damn near unbearable, leaving puddles on popsicle sticks the moment they left the ice-cream man’s cooler as he cashed in on the sweaty hordes waiting for entry. When they did get in the shop, the scene wasn’t much better, with only one cashier assisting a mob of vinyl-waving fans desperate to get their hands on the rarest and coolest. It was a complete mess, but a beautiful one, given that everyone in attendance shared in the excitement of being surrounded by like-minded tastes and Third Man goodies.
The Dead Weather took to the stage next door at the Regent Theater shortly after noon, with members of The Vault fanclub given preferred entry (that $240/year has to be good for something, no?) to the 30-minute performance. The set was fast and furious in the 500-man oven that was the Regent, tearing through the best renditions I’ve heard yet of I Cut Like a Buffalo and Hang You From The Heavens. Singer Alison Mosshart vindictively flicked her cigarette into the crowd at one point mid-song, perhaps to see if it would set off a spontaneous-combustion chain reaction. Apparently we were saved by the collective pool of sweat the pit was wading through by that point.
Unfortunately the heat won me over before the second store opened just ten yards away, which featured limited edition vinyl with inverted or backwards artwork. Evidently, when you play the records you’ll hear the music backwards as well. I’m not a Satanist or an eBay whore, so I can take that loss in stride. However, I’m having a harder time with the knowledge that my early departure meant I missed the one-song performance by White and Dead Weather bassist Jack Lawrence, wherein they dressed up as one another (wigs and all) and crammed into the tiny second store to the delight of shoppers.
There’s still time to get your Third Man fix, if you’re in the greater Los Angeles area. Here are the remaining store hours:
Thursday, August 27th: 12PM – 8PM
Friday, August 28th: 12PM – 8PM
Dead Weather performance pics by Noel Vasquez.