Few bands get to be called supergroups, and fewer still actually embrace the name — although something tells me Sammy Hagar’s Chickenfoot would be more than happy with it. And while the jury’s still out on Them Crooked Vultures — Dave Grohl, Josh Homme, John Paul Jones — the Dead Weather definitely proved itself Monday night (Aug. 18) at Denver’s Ogden Theatre.
While Jack White pounded out furious drumbeats and ecstatically tormented backup vocals, vacationing Kills frontwoman Alison Mosshart commanded the stage with the presence of a future rock legend. Possibly the greatest female cock-rocker ever (and certainly the best since Patti Smith in her prime), Mosshart worked the venue like it was a full-blown arena, while still conveying the sense that this is definitely no put-on.
The band’s arrangements, meanwhile, were suitably intense, thunderous and often razor-sharp. They’re clearly chasing after the same blues demons that Led Zeppelin once pursued, and with considerably more success than groups like Jane’s Addiction ever managed. Although White only strapped on his guitar for one song — and made the most of it when he did — Queens of the Stone Age’s Dean Fertita was altogether formidable on guitar and keyboards. Jack Lawrence of the Raconteurs offered up basslines that weren’t the least bit flashy but clearly served the overall sound.
In almost every case — including the arena-ready “Hang You from the Heavens,” the insanely original “I Cut Like a Buffalo,” and the devastatingly powerful “Treat Me like Your Mother” — the Dead Weather took their songs far beyond what they managed to capture in the studio. If they spend a bit more time writing and recording their second album, the results should be nothing short of amazing.