Expectations are a difficult thing to manage. The greater they are the further they almost inevitably fall short. This wasn’t a bad gig, but the tall expectation of a classic was swiftly hampered by an awful sound system which almost rendered Jack White’s vocals inaudible for large portions of the set.
In a picturesque setting just off Princes Street, with Edinburgh Castle perched high in the distance, this promised to be amongst the best gigs of the year. Instead, the inadequate sound consigned it to being probably the worst. Songs like Ball & Biscuit and Weep Themselves To Sleep, which I was particularly eager to hear, were almost unrecognisable with Jack’s vocals posted missing in what can only be described as an epic fail on the part of the sound engineers.
It wasn’t all bad, though, and there was a small saving grace in the tremendous country version of Hotel Yorba, comfortably the evening’s standout moment. Steady As She Goes and Seven Nation Army were also successful in rising above the parapet and providing a glimpse of what this set could have been.
As it was the night concluded with both of Jack’s touring bands – The Peacocks and The Buzzardos – coming together for a performance of Goodnight Irene. Rather fitting because I also couldn’t hear that when Bruce Springsteen attempted to sing it after the plug had been pulled at Hyde Park.