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(Credit: Press / David James Swanson)

Music

Tracing Jack White's career through his Glastonbury 2022 set

Not many artists can command thousands of festival-goers to abandon their plans and gravitate towards a completely different part of the grounds, but Jack White is an exception. When the Detriot rocker announced a surprise set on the final day of the Glastonbury 2022 Festival, he was bumping up against sets from great live acts like Turnstile, Kacey Musgraves, and Elbow. That didn’t stop one of the biggest crowds of the weekend to gather at The Park Stage to see White let it rip.

He didn’t disappoint, either, delivering 15 songs of bluesy power and high-energy garage rock. With just his three-man band behind him, White brought a mountain of distortion and noise that surely shook up the fatigued audience who had to shake themselves awake and scramble to the stage in time to see one of the biggest living rock legends strut his stuff.

Even though impact was the major theme of White’s set at Glastonbury, his “secret” set had plenty of variety and dynamics in it as well. That included a wide range of songs from across his now-three decades in music, pulling some of the biggest and best songs from multiple projects that he’s helmed over the years.

If you’re a Jack White fanatic, you’ve probably followed him from The White Stripes to the Raconteurs to The Dead Weather and finally to his modern solo career. The trickiest part of any Glastonbury set is fitting as much material as possible into an hour timeslot, but White has a more difficult job than most. With 25 years of recognisable songs, White could have played for three times as long and not had a problem throwing down banger after banger.

There are four different projects that White pulled from during his Glastonbury set, with songs spanning his entire career as a professional musician. We’re going to break down White’s set and shed some light on just how prolific the legendarily prolific White is.

The White Stripes

Songs:

  • ‘Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground’
  • ‘Hotel Yorba’
  • ‘I’m Slowly Turning Into You’
  • ‘Cannon’
  • ‘Ball and Biscuit’
  • ‘Seven Nation Army’

Oldest Song:

  • ‘Cannon’ – A variation of the traditional American folk song ‘John the Revelator’, based on Son House’s 1965 version; White’s first recording featured on The White Stripes’ 1999 debut LP The White Stripes

Newest Song:

  • ‘I’m Slowly Turning Into You’ – featured on The White Stripes’ final LP, 2007’s Icky Thump

Unsurprisingly, White’s most famous band continues to hold a prominent place in his live setlists. Glastonbury was no exception, with over a third of White’s setlist being devoted to classics from The White Stripes like ‘Hotel Yorba’ and ‘Ball and Biscuit’. It could have been seen a mile away that White was going to close with ‘Seven Nation Army’, but that didn’t make it any less exciting.

The Raconteurs

Songs:

  • ‘You Don’t Understand Me’
  • ‘Steady, As She Goes’

Oldest Song:

  • ‘Steady, As She Goes’ – originally featured on The Raconteurs’ 2006 debut Broken Boy Soldiers

Newest Song:

  • ‘You Don’t Understand Me’ – from 2008’s Consolers of the Lonely

White’s first side project The Raconteurs didn’t exactly have a major presence during White’s Glastonbury set, but there were two songs that remain vital elements to White’s live show: ‘Steady, As She Goes’, the band’s most recognisable song, and ‘You Don’t Understand Me’.

The Dead Weather:

Songs:

  • ‘I Cut Like a Buffalo’

Oldest Song:

  • ‘I Cut Like a Buffalo’ – originally featured on The Dead Weathers’ 2009 debut Horehound

Newest Song:

  • ‘I Cut Like a Buffalo’

It’s relatively rare to hear White bust out a song from his second side project The Dead Weather on his current ‘Supply Chain Issues Tour’. If he’s going to play any song from that band, it’s most likely going to be ‘I Cut Like a Buffalo’, the bluesy foot-stomper that represents the band’s one and only contribution to White’s Glastonbury set.

Solo

Songs:

  • ‘Taking Me Back’
  • ‘Fear of the Dawn’
  • ‘Love Interruption’
  • ‘Love Is Selfish’
  • ‘Lazaretto’
  • ‘What’s the Trick?’

Oldest Song:

  • ‘Love Interruption’ – originally from White’s 2012 debut Blunderbuss

Newest Song:

  • ‘Love Is Selfish’ – to be featured on White’s upcoming 2022 LP Entering Heaven Alive

This was a Jack White solo concert after all, so it makes sense that White’s solo material made up the other notable chunk of his Glastonbury performance. White made sure to cover his entire solo output, with at least one song from each of his solo LPs appearing in his set with the exception of 2018’s Boarding House Ranch. Despite what he claimed during the performance, ‘Love Is Selfish’ wasn’t written a few days before the gig: it was released as a single earlier this year and will appear on White’s upcoming LP Entering Heaven Alive.