The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights

Jack White is quite the character, and often times, his personality and mood are difficult to discern. He’s rough around the edges, broadcasting a cryptic demeanor while completely unapologetic in nature. He’s stern, he’s focused, and most importantly, he’s passionate about music. What makes this film so special, however, is that fans finally get a glimpse of the man behind the artist.

Filmed in the summer of 2007, Northern Lights follows The White Stripes as they tour Canada playing in every single province in the country. For each stop, the band plays a quieter surprise set – a bowling alley, a city bus, and even a show from a boat – before hitting a larger venue come nightfall.

The 90-minute film nicely blends live concert footage with touching moments from the road. Jack and Meg sit down and discuss their music, public image, the press, and finally put to rest rumors of Jack’s “domineering” behavior (“She never talks! Ever! And people are always saying that it’s because I won’t let her speak in interviews, but that isn’t true! Is it, Meg?”).

The live footage is spectacular. Having never had the pleasure of seeing The White Stripes live, the concert scenes are a front row ticket to the unique experience Jack and Meg proffer. They may only be a united twosome, but the energy and sounds brought to the table surpass lesser-talented four and five-piece bands.

Jack and Meg get to know Canada between shows. They visit a community center in Iqaluit to entertain a group of Inuit elders with an acoustic guitar. They eat raw caribou meat.  They set up shop in small downtown areas, striving to make a connection.

It’s these alternative, quiet, yet tender moments that make this movie so effective. It’s almost a direct opposition to Jack’s persona as seen in It Might Get Loud. Without such heavy hitters as Jimmy Page and The Edge abound, White’s humanity and sincerity are more apparent on that sleeve of his. The rock star persona is shaved down a bit, and we are allowed to see just a glimpse of Jack being Jack.

The film ends with Jack tickling the piano keys, playing a one-man version of “White Moon” in its entirety. Meg sits loyally by his side, bowing her head and later, allowing a few tears drops fall down her face.

Featured Songs:

1. Let’s Shake Hands
2. Black Jack Davey
3. Black Math
4. Little Ghost
5. Blue Orchid
6. The Union Forever
7. Icky Thump [Version from Film]
8. Apple Blossom
9. Wheels On The Bus
10. We Are Going To Be Friends
11. Let’s Build A Home
12. Catfish Blues
13. Hello Operator
14. Screwdriver
15. Cold Cold Night
16. Slowly Turning Into You
17. Lord Send Me An Angel
18. Jolene
19. I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother’s Heart
20. Catch Hell Blues
21. I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself
22. Death Letter
23. Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn
24. Fell In Love With A Girl
25. When I Hear My Name
26. Wasting My Time
27. My Doorbell
28. Seven Nation Army
29. White Moon

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