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24
4.5 out of 5 stars
Under Great White Northern Lights
Format: Audio CDChange
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
It seems like an eternity since the White Stripes graced the music scene with there explosive and visceral punk rock blues. In 2007 Meg White experienced "acute anxiety problems" and in effect the White Stripes were put onto the back burner while Jack White went off in all directions with side projects such as the Raconteurs and Dead Weather. As excellent as some of these have been "Under Great White Northern lights" reminds us what we have been missing and on this blistering evidence we can only hope that Meg conquers her demons. As Drowned in Sound have stated this record "serves, more than anything else, as a reminder of just how singularly odd the White Stripes are, and how boring things are without them around".

Recorded on a Canadian tour in 2007 in a range of venues so small they have bought a round from the stage The White Stripes blast through a live "Best of". The album starts with bagpipes, an audience probably seven sheets to the wind and then that wonderful noise that these two great musicians whip up with a ferocity that is almost sadistic. The first guitar solo on "Lets shake hands" nearly stripped the wallpaper from my front room and its one of the quieter songs on the album! Anyone experiencing this live set must still be suffering from tinnitus since the whole thing is monstrously loud and Jack's playing is like a Viking raid on a quiet hamlet. Truth be told its pretty relentless stuff and your neighbours will quake in fear if they see you smuggling this album into your house.

"Ball and Biscuit" is transformed from the seven minute behemoth on "Elephant" into a three minute gospel like blues whig out with Jack stretching notes as far as they will go and Meg's drumming pounding away with a brutality rarely captured on studio albums. Great versions follow of other WS standards and "Icky Thump" in particular is thrashed, beat up and burned. It proves that the White Stripes at full tilt are untouchable and truly the most exciting rock to emerge in the past twenty years. Yes on occasions the album does suffer "live album syndrome" for example if your partial to a crowd singalong the versions of "I don't know what to do with myself" and "Seven Nation Army" will please you but the studio versions are far superior. You would have also thought that the uber powerful "Black Math" might work better live but here it becomes less restrained and more of a thrash and by doing so loses some of its menace. That said the versions of "300 MPH Torrential Outpoor blues" is excellent,"Fell in love with a girl" is the usual brilliance and "Jolene" is bang on the mark.

I've only seen certain songs from the accompanying DVD but for fans of the band this is a key document. It must also suffice until the much hinted proper new release from the White Stripes follows. For those new to the Stripes "White Blood Cells" or "Elephant" should be the starting point but for those who like to take a risk and want to hear the guitar played as a howl of protest and drums subject to minimalist pounding then this is for you. The late John Peel once said about this band that "I've not been affected by anything as much as this since punk, perhaps even since I first heard Jimi Hendrix." Its judgement that still holds true since even on this varied live album they are on times a complete force of nature.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2010
Great value yet again, If you like The White Stripe this is for you.
Maybe it should be made more clearly by Amazon. THIS DOES HAVE THE FULL 92 MINUTES DVD.
Bargin price.
John
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2011
Now everybody knows Jack White can be a little bit different but there's no doubt about his talent whether it be with The White Stripes, The Racounteurs or latest band the Dead Weather however how much do we actually know about the other half of The White Stripes, drummer and some time vocalist Meg White? Its safe to say all we really know is that she used to be married to Jack and is married now to Patti Smiths son. So with this new documentary Under Great White Northern Lights do we suddenly get to know her better and find out what she's really like. Well the answer is NO but this documentary and live cd are well worth purchasing anyway

Filmed live on the Canadian leg of their 2007 tour for their album Icky Thump, we follow The White Stripes around on their tenth anniversary tour as they do things like play the worlds shortest gig(only Jack White could pull something like that off)Jack who is a keen bowler has them play in a bowling alley, on a boat as well as a on a moving bus! However its the relationship(or lack of) between Jack and Meg thats the real selling point of this documentary. Meg is really shy and you can tell she does not like being followed around by the camera. Of course after this Canadian tour they cancelled their US leg of the tour as Meg was suffering from acute anxiety so are we really watching Meg meltdown before our very eyes? One of the highlights is when Meg break down in tears as Jack performs White Moon in the studio.

The documentary is wonderfully shot in black and white with a hint of red by film maker Emmett Malloy, the live footage is great and shows what a great live band they have become and shows how that two people playing can be as just as loud as a full 5 or 6 piece band. Remember for this region 1 DVD you will need a region one or multi region DVD player to watch this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2011
Now everybody knows Jack White can be a little bit different but there's no doubt about his talent whether it be with The White Stripes, The Racounteurs or latest band the Dead Weather however how much do we actually know about the other half of The White Stripes, drummer and some time vocalist Meg White? Its safe to say all we really know is that she used to be married to Jack and is married now to Patti Smiths son. So with this new documentary Under Great White Northern Lights do we suddenly get to know her better and find out what she's really like. Well the answer is NO but this documentary and live cd are well worth purchasing anyway

Filmed live on the Canadian leg of their 2007 tour for their album Icky Thump, we follow The White Stripes around on their tenth anniversary tour as they do things like play the worlds shortest gig(only Jack White could pull something like that off)Jack who is a keen bowler has them play in a bowling alley, on a boat as well as a on a moving bus! However its the relationship(or lack of) between Jack and Meg thats the real selling point of this documentary. Meg is really shy and you can tell she does not like being followed around by the camera. Of course after this Canadian tour they cancelled their US leg of the tour as Meg was suffering from acute anxiety so are we really watching Meg meltdown before our very eyes? One of the highlights is when Meg break down in tears as Jack performs White Moon in the studio.

The documentary is wonderfully shot in black and white with a hint of red by film maker Emmett Malloy, the live footage is great and shows what a great live band they have become and shows how that two people playing can be as just as loud as a full 5 or 6 piece band. Remember for this region 1 blu-ray you will need a region one or multi region blu-ray player to watch this.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2010
Now everybody knows Jack White can be a little bit different but there's no doubt about his talent whether it be with The White Stripes, The Racounteurs or latest band the Dead Weather however how much do we actually know about the other half of The White Stripes, drummer and some time vocalist Meg White? Its safe to say all we really know is that she used to be married to Jack and is married now to Patti Smiths son. So with this new documentary Under Great White Northern Lights do we suddenly get to know her better and find out what she's really like. Well the answer is NO but this documentary and live cd are well worth purchasing anyway

Filmed live on the Canadian leg of their 2007 tour for their album Icky Thump, we follow The White Stripes around on their tenth anniversary tour as they do things like play the worlds shortest gig(only Jack White could pull something like that off)Jack who is a keen bowler has them play in a bowling alley, on a boat as well as a on a moving bus! However its the relationship(or lack of) between Jack and Meg thats the real selling point of this documentary. Meg is really shy and you can tell she does not like being followed around by the camera. Of course after this Canadian tour they cancelled their US leg of the tour as Meg was suffering from acute anxiety so are we really watching Meg meltdown before our very eyes? One of the highlights is when Meg break down in tears as Jack performs White Moon in the studio.

The documentary is wonderfully shot in black and white with a hint of red by film maker Emmett Malloy, the live footage is great and shows what a great live band they have become and shows how that two people playing can be as just as loud as a full 5 or 6 piece band. It leaves you wanting to see them live again sooner rather than later.

The cd features 16 songs recorded from the same tour and dips in to their expansive back catalogue but it's really the excellent documentary that's the selling point!
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on 27 April 2010
Having not seen the White Stripes live but having followed then from afar for many years I was intrigued as to how both the CD and DVD would pan out and while a little uneven in places there is more than enough to keep the fans happy if not to bring in converts.
The DVD gives a glimpse of life in the road and in meeting some of the locals including the major of one town who I am sure I have seen on Ice Road Truckers although Jack does tend to dominate - abet unintentionally - as Meg seems content to stay quite and in the background - I wonder if its like that when the cameras are off.
In the CD there are many of the tracks you would expect plus a superb (if a little different)version of Jolene and again much to keep the fans engaged even if it does not push the boundaries.
A CD I will enjoy dipping in and out off over the years
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2013
Another fab album from the White Stripes. Jack has the most amazing voice. Just love it what more can I say.
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on 26 April 2011
Jack and Meg play like absolute devils on this live CD. for me it defines the 'in the moment' attitude running through their earlier albums. More recent tracks get a new injection of life and i am blown away everytime i listen, especially by "The Union Forever."

The DVD is also very good feeling not too contrived and gives us a glimpse behind the scenes of the Canadian tour.
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on 6 November 2012
I got this for my other half's christmas present and he was over the moon, it has everything that a big fan could want and needless to say it is kept in pride of place by his record player, it is expensive but the art work is fantastic an I havent seen all the items from the contence anywhere other than in this box set.
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on 4 February 2012
just like everything else from the white stripes, this is excellent. the film is beautiful-you learn a lot about meg and jack and their relationship with each other (and with music). every song and live performance is great too, and most are better than the studio versions. buy it.
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