Not just being cute when he named his current outing the Supply Chain Issues Tour, Jack White delivered in a big way Saturday in Minneapolis.
The former White Stripes frontman seemed to take a cue from his hometown Detroit's auto assembly lines in his third appearance at the Armory in four years (counting a 2019 gig by his other band, the Raconteurs).
Performing with a newly simplified three-man backing band that was itself workman-like — in a thrilling way — the 47-year-old singer/guitarist rolled, screeched, scorched and hammered through 27 songs in two hours with hardly any breathers or missteps.
Also being livestreamed via Amazon Music's Twitch Channel, Saturday's concert was audacious and electrifying enough to recall another industrious Midwestern assembly line: Prince, whose music spun before the headliner took the stage. White strutted around the stage in an all-white outfit with heeled boots and continually tested his new band in ways reminiscent of the late Minneapolis icon.
And like Prince, White has also tested fans in recent years with a series of sometimes quizzical, challenging albums. However, no matter how strange his records get, his live shows remain crazy-good.
Saturday's set kicked off with two manic, ballistic rockers from the darker and weirder of his pair of LPs already issued this year, "Fear of the Dawn," starting with "Taking Me Back." That wild start gave way to the nearly 8,000 fans themselves going wild in the crunchy White Stripes classic "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground."
A three-song semi-acoustic montage early in the set made a strong case for 2022's other new album, the mellower and more accessible "Entering Heaven Alive." The blue-hair-dyed frontman came off like an old folkie in the finger-picked ditty "Love Is Selfish" and showed a vulnerable side in the piano-led "A Tip From You to Me."
"Will I be alone tonight? / Will love leave me alone tonight?" he sang with haunted vibrato in the latter.
The mellow moments were few and far between after that, though. With big-boned, thick-hitting drummer Daru Junes acting like Clarence Clemons to White's Bruce Springsteen — continually egging on the frontman and gesturing to the crowd — the rest of the show became a marathon of older favorites and recent solo standouts.
Other Stripes classics such as "Hotel Yorba," "Fell in Love With a Girl" and "You Got Her in Your Pocket" gave way to freaky but fun 2010s-era songs like "Lazeretto" and "Blunderbuss."
White dug deep into the Stripes discography with "Black Math" and "Hello Operator." He also treated fans to one tune by his other other band, the Dead Weather ("I Cut Like a Buffalo") and then kicked off the encore with the Raconteurs' "Steady as She Goes."
By the time he got to the must-play finale "Seven Nation Army," White had already lived up to one of that 2003 bring-it-on anthem's many memorable lines: "Make the sweat drip from every pore." While still full of surprises, White not so surprisingly poured himself into this one.