The White Stripes “Live at the Magic Bag” 1999/2017. Vault Package #34, Third Man Records, limited edition box set on red vinyl. The Magic Bag performance (located in a suburb of Detroit, “chosen as a venue mainly to placate the fans who wouldn’t venture to see The White Stripes in rough-and-tumble Detroit”) on July 30th, 1999 was The White Stripes’ first show after the release of their self-titled debut album in 1999 and is included in the box set Live in Detroit released this past December (I’ll be blogging about the other two live LP’s in the next couple of days.) Also included in the package are three reproduction prints of the show flyers.
The setlist from the Magic Bag performance includes several tracks from The White Stripes (and generally they have a better recording quality than the gritty in studio ones): “Jimmy the Explorer,” “The Big Three Killed My Baby,” “Wasting My Time,” “Broken Bricks,” “Astro,” a stomping version of Robert Johnson’s “Stop Breaking Down” and the traditional “St. James Infirmary Blues.” Other covers they performed were Bob Dylan’s “Love Sick” (the first time they played it live – also the first time Jack White incorporated piano into a live set and he used it extensively throughout the night) and one of my White Stripes faves “I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself” (originally by Burt Bacharach; The White Stripes would later include it on their 2003 release Elephant). A couple other of my top picks are “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” (on the 2001 White Blood Cells) on pounding piano and the raucous “Lafayette Blues” in French. Interspersed between the songs is delightful banter by Jack (especially in between “Wasting the Time” and “Astro” when he makes up a story about when he and Meg were kids), a bit of guitar tuning, some musical riffs and a shoutout to The Greenhornes (who drove up from Ohio to open).
Runout Groove Side A: BOOM BOOM DIDDUM DADDUM WADDUM CHOO Runout Groove Side B: SAY A LITTLE PRAYER FOR YOURSELVES