It Looks Like Jack White Probably Isn't Coming To Billy Bob's After All
If you build it, Jack White still might not come. Sorry, Billy Bob's.
Mary Ellen Matthews
We've had a lot of rain here of late, but Dallas has a serious drought of another kind. For the past six years, Jack White has been nowhere to be found on a local concert bill. If you're a fan of the nouveau bluesman, you're probably wondering exactly why Dallas seems to be on White's list of shunned locales. Unfortunately, we just have even more bad news: Despite a Tilt campaign by Billy Bob's to attract White to DFW, it looks as if we won't be seeing him for a long, long time.
If you'll remember all the way back to a few months ago, Billy Bob's Texas launched their Tilt campaign, which sought to sell 2,750 tickets to eager Jack White fans as a way to sort of encourage White to play for his fan base here. The campaign quickly "Tilted," or reached its goal, and the 2,750 tickets -- which sold for $50 each -- were gone within just a few days. After that, all that was left was the wait.
Until yesterday. According to a post on White's official Facebook page, once his current tour is over, he plans to take an extended time-out from being on the road. "After many years of performing in a multitude of configurations, Jack is announcing that he will be taking a break from performing live for a long period of time," read the post. "To cap off the Lazaretto world tour, and following his pair of headlining performances at Coachella, Jack will embark on a short acoustic tour of the only five states left in the U.S. that he has yet to play."
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We're not sure exactly which of the 50 nifty will be included in this short solo engagement -- no plans have been announced -- but if you extrapolate this message, you can assume that White will be heading to Idaho and Hawaii and plenty of other inconsequential (kidding, sort of) states that just aren't Texas. White has played in Austin, Houston and Dallas before, so it's unlikely that he'll be adding a local date to that slate of five shows. Who knows, though, maybe we'll get lucky and he'll throw an impromptu show in Ennis or Saginaw or something.
In fact, all of the shows in this limited engagement will be totally impromptu. According to that same Facebook post, the shows will be acoustic, amplified with ribbon microphones to the audience. Each performance will be announced on the day of the show at 8 a.m. and tickets, which will cost $3, will be sold at the venue door starting at noon on a cash-only basis.
To just pay less than the cost of a pack of smokes for an intimate set by one of the best musicians on the planet really does sound like one of those things that is too good to be true. Imagine how quickly people would be fighting in the middle of Greenville Avenue if a show were to be announced at Granada Theater. If he chose The Kessler, god forbid, you'd be hauling mauled Jack White fanboys out by the dozens after a Hunger Games-style death match for those scarce few tickets.
As for Billy Bob's, the world's largest honky-tonk has been entirely silent about White's announcement. Requests for comment from Billy Bob's have gone unanswered, and many fans on their Facebook, Twitter and Tilt pages were digitally wondering out loud when they can expect to get their $50 back. If our (terrible) math is correct, 2,750 tickets at $50 a pop comes out to around $140,000 that Billy Bob's is going to have to refund back to fans if White decides to skip Texas for these final dates.
And the refunds will definitely happen. When the Tilt campaign was first launched, Billy Bob's made clear that they would only take fans' money if Jack White actually comes to town. We're guessing that they're just being naively optimistic that White will heed their (and our) pleas to come to Dallas, hoping that they'll be able to give the cash they raised (and certainly much, much more) to White.
Maybe we're jumping the gun and Jack White will bring his silly cowboy hats and hatred of bananas to Fort Worth, but probably not. We hate to burst the bubble of hope that Billy Bob's gave you with their announcement, but them's the breaks. Should we hear otherwise from Billy Bob's or Jack White himself, we'll keep you posted.
UPDATE: Billy Bob's has posted this comment to their Tilt page, indicating that they're still working on getting Jack White to Fort Worth:
While we have heard the news on Jack's future, we are asking everyone to be patient with us over the next week. We have one last trick up our sleeve and we want to make sure we give 100% effort to make this happen. If we receive word that this show is not possible, you will be the first to know & refunds will be given. Thank you for your patience and most of all, thank you for supporting music.
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