The White Stripes have reached a pinnacle. Call it the rock 'n' roll Peter Principle -- a point at which their huge fame may not serve the music they play.
While it's refreshing to see a band this original and raw rise to an elevated level, achieve commercial success and maintain integrity, Jack and Meg White find themselves in a precarious place. Do they continue to play as a duo and try to tackle arenas, and if so will their specific musical brand translate to that setting? It did at the massive Coachella festival this past April, but can it work indoors as well? The White Stripes' latest release, Elephant, saw the band bring in other musicians to fill out the sound on the record, but live they persevere as a dynamic but limited two-piece.
The demand for the White Stripes' music in a live setting and the public's desire to be in on the next big thing is undeniable, but what's next for the Whites -- made up of a heavy dose of fashion, minimal off-kilter metronome drumming, white-boy blues vocals, clever lyrics and one very huge guitar sound?
The White Stripes
Mesa Amphitheatre, 201 North Center
Scheduled to perform with the Soledad Brothers on Friday, September 26. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $27.50. Call 480-644-2560 for more information.
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Imagine a few unlikely scenarios:
The White Stripes playing Bank One Ballpark with pyrotechnics and huge video screens displaying their oh-so-cute red on white garb? Maybe going big time and employing a brass section and hiring some black girls to sing choruses? Or Jack and Meg being dropped from a red helicopter in candy-striped parachutes to satisfy their public?
Stranger things have happened.