It’s Astonishing That Jack White Has Never Played Portland as a Solo Artist
Consider this a petition.
In 2022, Jack White is releasing not one, but two new full-length studio records. On April 8, fans will get their hands on Fear of the Dawn, and then just weeks later on July 22, we'll get Entering Heaven Alive. There aren't many details about what we can expect from these records, though we have already gotten a taste of Fear of the Dawn's lead single, "Taking Me Back"—which you've been hearing right here on CYY. You can check out the official music video below:
One detail surrounding these two albums that hasn't been announced yet is whether or not White will hit the road in support of them. Of course, it's not that hard to imagine he will do a full-blown, massive summer and fall tour next year, but we're waiting to hear if and when that'll happen.
So, as we wait...and wait...and wait...I thought it'd be fun to anticipate White's solo tour by imagining the absolute best spot in Portland, Maine, for him to play.
And that is why you can consider this article a petition.
Jack White Has Never Played Portland, Maine
You read that right. White, as a solo artist, has never played Portland—or the state of Maine, period—in his career. Now, that's not to say he's a stranger to this fine city. Portland's very own Bob Ludwig mastered White's debut record, the amazing Blunderbuss, his follow-up, Lazaretto, and his most recent LP, Boarding House Reach.
And White's connection to Portland does actually venture into the live side of his music, too. Just not his solo work.
"Dude, it was the greatest show ever."
On Nov. 9, 2006, White and his band, The Raconteurs, played the Cumberland County Civic Center (now known as Cross Insurance Arena, of course), opening for Bob Dylan. SPIN called the touring partners "odd," but I'm pretty sure that was one of the coolest lineups in the history of concerts. I talked to Herb Ivy down the hall at WBLM who was at the show and he said, nice and succinctly, "Dude, it was the greatest show ever."
That's not the only show White's performed in Portland. Just a few months after opening for Dylan, White and his co-conspirator, Meg, played the same spot for The White Stripes' first and only show, ever, in the state of Maine.
"For the 10th anniversary of this band, we're going to play the 16 states we've never played before," White told Billboard when the Stripes' 2007 tour was announced. And on July 22, Jack and Meg checked the state off their list when they rocked the Civic Center with a 24-song setlist that spanned their career.
If you want to get a taste of how they sounded in 2007, here they are performing "Seven Nation Army" just a month before their Portland show at Bonnaroo:
Where Should Jack White Play?
With the reality that White has never played Portland as a solo artist—and with the anticipation of a yet-to-be-announced tour in support of two full-length studio albums in 2022—I'm curious: If you could snap your fingers, where would be the coolest place to see White perform in Portland?
I've been fortunate to see White a few different times and in different settings. The first time I saw him perform was with The White Stripes at Memorial Hall in Kansas City in 2003; then I saw him solo at Roseland Ballroom in New York City in 2012; and the last time I saw him was at the Masonic Temple in Detroit in 2014, which was easily one of the coolest shows I've ever seen in my life (and recently memorialized by Third Man Records).
(I also got screwed out of some hard-earned cash by buying a pair of fake tickets for one of White's big arena shows a few years ago, but I don't want to talk about that.)
When I ask you where would be the coolest place to see White in Portland, I don't want the right answer of where he will probably play (unless you think that's the coolest spot); I want to know the dream venue, the once-in-a-lifetime location, the unforgettable place.
State Theatre would be iconic.
Aura would be awesome.
Portland House of Music would be unthinkably intimate.
It's your turn.