Rock Docs: The White Stripes "Under Great White Northern Lights"
My old friend Jason Grant from Live Nation reminded me of this epic rock doc. I was never a White Stripes fan but with this film I found love for them and was thankful that a band wanted to capture the beauty of my homeland Canada. Jason's thoughtful review of the film will have you running for Netflix.
"Full disclosure – I was one of the promoters of the epic Canadian concert tour that was captured in this film. Director Emmett Malloy delivers a perfect document of this sadly missed musical tornado and their final courageous undertaking as a band – alternately savage and savvy, straightforward and elliptical, classic and modern, intensely personal and larger-than life, the film mirrors The White Stripes’ own seemingly irreconcilable dichotomies while telling the tale of a magnificent journey across Canada that stopped in places no international recording act had ever performed in, including ‘secret’ shows on buses, in bowling alleys, pool halls and abandoned flour mills along the way. Knowing now that the end of the film is basically a visual record of the end of the band (they performed only a few more shows before cancelling the remainder of the subsequent US tour, never to appear in concert again) this becomes a more valuable and moving historical document with every passing day.
For an even more raw and visceral take on what that tour was about, find the box set and watch the full 3+ hour DVD from their 10th anniversary show in a small theatre in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, just a few miles down the road from the coal mines where Jack’s newly-emigrated ancestors earned their first dollars in the New World. I swear to God I didn’t know the theatre décor was red, black & white when we booked it, and although the Almighty herself may have played a role in that, She couldn’t have made this a better show, even if She’d sat in on cowbell, as you will see."
Thank you Jason for your beautiful words.
My favourite song in the film is their cover of Jolene...gives me chills.