ACL '09: The Dead Weather Hangs ACL Up From The Heavens

Like the Yeah Yeah Yeah's set on Friday night, The Dead Weather's ACL offering captivated audiences not because of Jack White's part, but rather because of Alison Mosshart's enthralling efforts at the front of her supergroup.

Mosshart prowled and posed and teased before her audience on Sunday, appearing as if she were in a world all her own--while at the same time doing so with a winking nod to the fact that, well, she knows quite well just how good a performer she is.

Boasting only a slight resemblance to White's prior projects, The Dead Weather's sound is far more graveyard cabaret than retro-infused blues-rock--and in the best way possible, too. Perfectly suited to Mosshart's sultry pipes and performance style, the crowd rocked along with every move the band made. And with every move the enrapturing Mosshard made, the eyes of the audience followed.

And, sure, while the audience may have come simply to see White's latest dalliance, they left with a realization that, maybe--just maybe--this wasn't his band after all. Mosshart, for her part, refused to allow as much as much. When White stepped out from behind the kit to play guitar on the band's final song, Mosshart feigned disiniterest, lying on the stage on her stomach, smoking a cigarette like she had no care in the world.

And, though she eventually joined White at the microphone, dueting alongside the already-legendary White Striper, it was tough not to agree with her sentiment, even if it was only offered in jest. Because while White may be the biggest name the band boasts, at least as far as the Dead Weather's live shows are concerned, Mosshart is its biggest star. And rightfully so.

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman