Musical guest Jack White performs a medley of "Ball and Biscuit," “Don’t Hurt Yourself” and "Jesus Is Coming Soon" on Saturday Night Live.

https://TheWhiteStripes.lnk.to/TWSGH!SNL

Subscribe to the official Jack White YouTube channel: https://JackWhite.lnk.to/subscribeYD

Watch more videos by Jack White: https://JackWhite.lnk.to/listenYD/youtube

Follow Jack White:

Facebook: https://JackWhite.lnk.to/followFI

Instagram: https://JackWhite.lnk.to/followII

Website: https://JackWhite.lnk.to/followWI

Spotify: https://JackWhite.lnk.to/followSI

#SNL #BillBurr #JackWhite #SNL46

Until the middle of last week, rising country artist Morgan Wallen was set to appear as the musical guest on the second episode of the new Saturday Night Live season, filmed before a masked audience. The singer appeared on video partying unmasked in a crowded space the weekend before and was disinvited from the show for not adhering to its COVID-19 safety protocols. To his credit, Wallen offered a seemingly genuine apology. His last-minute replacement, announced Friday, was Jack White. 

The Third Man Records chief and former White Stripe called on drummer Daru Jones and bassist Dominic Davis, the core of his Lazaretto-era rhythm section, to play as a power trio. The group had very little time to rehearse, a scenario that may have played into the show picking a previous guest over a deserving new talent. SNL is a major platform, and it’s disappointing that someone like Mickey Guyton didn’t get the nod. But as you can see from the clips of the broadcast, White & Co. turned in a pretty damned electrifying performance.

Current events seemed to inform the choice of songs, similar to White’s power-trio gig at a Bernie Sanders rally last year. Above, see the opening medley, built around “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” Beyoncé’s searing confrontation of a liar from Lemonade, which was made in collaboration with White and Ruby Amanfu. Also in the mix are the Stripes’ snarling blues staple “Ball and Biscuit” and Blind Willie Johnson’s “Jesus Is Coming Soon.” Johnson, a Texas-born blues songsmith, wove history into his work; “God Moves on the Water,” recently covered by Larkin Poe, is about the sinking of the Titanic, while “Jesus Is Coming Soon” reflects on the influenza epidemic of 1918. 

White & Co.’s second number was “Lazaretto,” which comes from the perspective of a character isolated in a hospital. You can see that one below. There are a couple of subtle tributes to fallen musical heroes. First, note Davis’ John Prine T-shirt, worn on what would have been the legendary songwriter’s 74th birthday. Also, White switched over from his customized Fender Telecaster to an EVH Wolfgang, designed by the late, great biracial Dutch and Indonesian guitar hero Eddie Van Halen, who died of cancer at age 65 on Tuesday. White wrote on Instagram that his Wolfgang was customized under Van Halen’s personal supervision. Though White said he wouldn’t “insult the man’s talent by trying to play one of his songs,” he did sneak in a little fret-tapping tribute near the end of “Lazaretto.”

Musical guest Jack White performs a medley of “Lazaretto” on Saturday Night Live. https://TheWhiteStripes.lnk.to/TWSGH!SNL

Subscribe to the official Jack White YouTube channel: https://JackWhite.lnk.to/subscribeYD

Watch more videos by Jack White: https://JackWhite.lnk.to/listenYD/youtube

Follow Jack White:

Facebook: https://JackWhite.lnk.to/followFI

Instagram: https://JackWhite.lnk.to/followII

Website: https://JackWhite.lnk.to/followWI

Spotify: https://JackWhite.lnk.to/followSI

Lyrics:

Oh, my veins are blue and connected

And every single bone in my brain is electric

But I dig ditches like the best of 'em

Yo trabajo duro

Como en madera y yeso

Como en madera y yeso

And even God Herself has fewer plans than me

But she never helps me out with my scams for free, though

She grabs a stick and then she points it at me

When I say nothing, I say everything

Yeah, when I say nothing, I say everything

They threw me down in a lazaretto

Born rottin', bored rotten

Makin' models of people I used to know

Out of coffee and cotton

And all my illegitimate kids have begotten

Thrown down to the wolves, made feral for nothin'

Quarantined on the Isle of Man

And I'm trying to escape any way that I can, oh

Any way that I can, oh

Damn, I have no time left, time is lost

No time at all, throw it in a garbage can

And I shake God's hand

I jump up and let Her know when I can

This is how I'm gonna do it

They wanna burn down the prison

They're lighting fires with the cash of the masses

And like the dough, I don't fall down

I'm so Detroit, I make it rise from the ashes

#SNL #BillBurr #JackWhite #SNL46

Like what you read?


Click here to make a contribution to the Scene and support local journalism!