It wasn't the most welcoming of summer evenings in Dublin last night but that didn't matter much to the couple of thousand waterlogged fans of Jack White crammed into a field in Kilmainham, who witnessed most memorable yet uncomfortable live shows of the year.
Say what you will about not letting the weather dampen your spirits on occasions such as this, but it takes the absolute hardiest live music fan to possess the capability to completely ignore the elements when horizontal rain is pelting into your face for two hours straight. In fact, last night's gig would have been a pretty miserable affair if Jack White wasn't so goddamned good.
White's sophomore post-White Stripes release Lazaretto is one of the best crafted rock and roll releases in some time, a notion confirmed to your writer while witnessing them in these most inhospitable of environments. White, as enigmatic a performer as we have nowadays, clearly enjoys the lack of restriction afforded to him back his multi-piece band. Elements of colour, texture and atmosphere burst out of his songs in ways that weren't possible in his previous band and the Detroit, Michigan native revels in the interplay between the various band members.
Opening at around 8.50pm, White took to the stage dressed in a blue suit and launched into the title track of his second album 'Lazaretto' before the first of many White Stripes songs 'Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground'.
There were nods to the various different groups White has played with over the years with songs from The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather mixed in with White Stripes and solo material, all fused together to give the most distilled example of White's musical influence one could hope for. It was also interesting to note the various snippets of other artists songs making an appearance, like Kanye's 'Black Skinhead', Beck's 'Devil's Haircut' and Iggy's 'I Wanna Be Your Dog' all present.
The biggest cheer of the night was saved for the penultimate track 'Seven Nation Army', probably the most famous song White has ever written and, judging by the sheer amount of fists punching the sky, its influence hasn't diminished one little bit since the day it was released.
By now, it was clear that things were winding down but White - clearly touched by the sheer numbers of people who had waited all day in the rain to see him play - wasn't ready to leave yet. There was a curfew to contend with but White persevered first when the house cut the sound to the stage by 50% and continued to do so when all power was turned off entirely, soundtracking the end of the night with an entirely acoustic version of Lead Belly's 'Goodnight, Irene'.
The night, much like his music itself, is on Jack White's terms and there ain't nobody going to tell him what to do.