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The City Journals

Jack White brings the house down in USANA season opener

Jun 11, 2022 11:04AM ● By Tom Haraldsen

I went to the USANA Amphitheater last night to see a Jack White concert, but what I got was a Jack White experience. Intense, electrifying, and mind-blowing from the very first chord, the multi-awarding-winning guitarist, singer, songwriter and entertainer jammed on one of the many guitars he played for nearly two hours.

The concert kicked off a summer full of USANA concerts that continue this week with Chicago, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin on Tuesday, and the amazing Stevie Nicks on Thursday. What a way to start the summer!

White’s playlists included a mix of blues rock, garage rock, alternative rock and folk. His 24-song set never stopped, never paused for even a minute as the music just kept segueing from new to older White songs, including some favorites from The White Stripes, the band he formed 24 years ago. 

Backed by his three-man band, he set the crowd on fire with Taking Me Back, Fear of the Dawn and the White Stripes’ favorite Dead Leaves and Dirty Ground. Grabbing an acoustic guitar, he slowed things down a bit with The Wayfaring Stranger but then stepped on the gas again. He followed that with If I Die Tomorrow, a song he just released this week.

Midway through his set, he reached out to the audience with The White Stripes’ favorite We’re Going to be Friends, which the crowd helped by singing the chorus, and everyone was hooked. We all felt like we were pals with Jack White and his mates on stage.

The second half of his show included a slower version of Fell in Love with a Girl, another White Stripes favorite, and maybe something close to White’s heart as he just married girlfriend Olivia Jean in April after proposing to her on stage, and then marrying her immediately, in Detroit after a concert at the Masonic Temple. (White is a huge Detroit Tigers fan, BTW). 

By the time he finished the set with Ball and Biscuit, another White Stripes favorite, the crowd couldn’t let him go. 

The standing ovation, which was so well-deserved for this performance, brought the group back on stage for Steady, As She Goes (we all joined in again to sing the chorus) and Seven Nation Army. Two hours after he took the stage, White bid Salt Lake City adieu and the “experience” had ended. Sort of. Most everyone was still talking about it as we headed for our cars, and undoubtedly will continue to talk about it this weekend as well.

A part of the experience that can’t be overlooked was the amazing videography at USANA. The large screens showed shots of the band, along with special effects, and embellished what we were seeing in front of us. It’s no secret that USANA’s sound, lighting and visual effects system is the best, making the theater the premier place to see a concert in Utah.

Not sure when Jack White will return to perform again in the Beehive State. It’s a sure bet we’ll be there when he does.

Photo credit: David James Swanson