Jack White’s Bonnaroo performance was one for the history books

on June 15, 2014, 3:20am

Photo by David Hall

Jack White capped off Bonnaroo’s third day in rousing fashion, delivering arguably one of the best headlining performances in the festival’s 13-year history.

White took the stage at 10:45pm and proceeded to play a 26-song, two-and-a-half hour set (some 45 minutes longer than their originally scheduled set time). The setlist was comprised of material from White’s entire career, including songs by The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and his two solo albums. Among the highlights, “Icky Thump” serving as set opener; the first performance of “Astro” in over three years; a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “The Lemon Song”; and “Seven Nation Army”, during which the entire field of 70,000+ sang along.

In between songs, White proved quite chatty. He began by taking a jab at Rolling Stone magazine, seemingly in response to his controversial cover story. “Who makes music happen? Does a tabloid like Rolling Stone make music happen?” he exclaimed. “You and I make it exist!”

(Read: Jack White’s Top 10 Songs Not Named “Seven Nation Army”)

Later, White dedicated songs to Detroit auto workers, 1930s blues musicians, and touring musicians. He also gave a shout out to Arctic Monkeys, who he shared a plane with from Los Angeles to Nashville, and Nick Cave, who he invited out for a drink the night before.

Below, watch video of the crowd chanting along to “Seven Nation Army” and check out the full setlist.

Icky Thump (The White Stripes)
High Ball Stepper (Solo)
Lazaretto (Solo)
Hotel Yorba (The White Stripes)
Temporary Ground (Solo)
Missing Pieces (Solo)
Steady, As She Goes (The Raconteurs)
Top Yourself (The Raconteurs)
I’m Slowly Turning Into You (The White Stripes)
Freedom at 21 (Solo)
Three Women (Solo)
You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You’re Told) (The White Stripes)
We’re Going to Be Friends (The White Stripes)
Alone in My Home (Solo)
Ball and Biscuit (The White Stripes)
The Lemon Song (Led Zeppelin cover)

The Hardest Button to Button (The White Stripes)
Hello Operator (The White Stripes)
Misirlou (Dick Dale and His Del-Tones cover)
Sixteen Saltines (Solo)
Cannon (The White Stripes)
Blue Blood Blues (The Dead Weather)
Astro (The White Stripes)
Love Interruption (Solo)
Little Bird (The White Stripes)
Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes)


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Allen Nida
July 3, 2014 at 11:09 am

It just goes to show you that the “best shows” are simply a reflection of taste. I was there too, and it was good. Nowhere near the “Best headlining show of Bonnaroo”, but it was good. Good enough for me to stay and take a nap at. Especially when you consider Paul McCartney who played last year, it’s a pretty audacious statement to conclude that White was arguably the greatest headliner. The Avett Brothers this year, on the other hand, blew everything out of the water. But, that could just be my difference in taste.

Kristen Chapman Gibbons
June 17, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Reblogged this on Big Blue Dot Y'all.

June 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Completely agree with this article: Jack White put on one of the best headlining shows I’ve seen in my eight years at Bonnaroo. This year, I’d rank my top three as Jack White, Damon Albarn, and Elton John.

June 16, 2014 at 3:49 pm

10 Jack perfomances (5 at bonnaroo) under my belt. Taking musical taste out of the. equation, Jack killed it. Hes at the Top of his game as far as live performances. There were alot of great musicians at Bonnaroo, but this performance was Spectacular.

June 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Don’t mean to be rude, but Jack has played Bonnaroo 4 times: White Stripes ’07, Raconteurs ’08, Dead Weather ’10, and Solo ’14. I know since I was there.

June 16, 2014 at 1:33 pm

I respectfully disagree with this assessment of Jack White’s performance. Having attended two bonnaroos, I enjoyed many artists far more than White’s. This year alone, Lionel Richie, The Avett Brothers, ZZ Ward, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Vampire Weekend all were far better performances.

June 18, 2014 at 10:54 am

Ehhhh, don’t wanna be a dick (radiate positivity and all), but objectively Jack White (and band) was the best. The talent on stage, the setlist, he even talked to the crowd. And from the heart it felt like. Fitz and Tantrums have a lot of fun songs but live they just kept asking people to throw their hands in the air and clap with a 1000 beach balls everywhere. I enjoyed The Orwells and Okkervil River the most, but Jack White killed it.

June 15, 2014 at 11:13 pm

I am soooo insanely jealous of everyone there. I saw him last weekend at governors ball, front row, and it was truly the best hour and a half of my life…but I still seriously wish I could’ve been at bonnaroo, two and a half hours!! That’s so awesome. Jack White is a legend

We’ve Been There Before
June 15, 2014 at 12:11 pm

This was the best show I’ve seen in my life. Seriously, that’s not hyperbole. It was legendary.

Check out my review of Bonnaroo soon and other concert and music reviews at

June 17, 2014 at 12:24 am

i’m in complete agreement and have been saying that for the last couple of days. im still overwhelmed by it.

Jim Rountree
June 15, 2014 at 10:04 am

lol i love how he’s putting the blame of all his shit talking squarely on rolling stone like he had nothing to do with it.

Pam Rollins
June 15, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Could it be he was misquoted by Rolling Stone? Maybe they took some of the stuff he said out of context? Nah, Rolling Stone would NEVER do that…. Come On! We all know that Rolling Stone is not the mag it used to be. He very well may have reason to be pissed.

June 15, 2014 at 9:26 am

You forgot PIPELINE !!!

June 15, 2014 at 3:49 pm

I’m doubting you, just questioning your accuracy seeing as they’re both instrumentals: Are you sure he played “Pipeline” in addition to “Miserlou”?

June 15, 2014 at 3:50 pm

… sorry, that was supposed to say “I’m NOT doubting you …”

June 18, 2014 at 2:16 am

I assure you he played pipeline into misirlou and it was great.

Miss Mushrooms
June 15, 2014 at 3:52 am

Reblogged this on Miss Mushrooms and commented:
Jack White covered Led Zepplin tonight, ladies and gentlemen. Your argument is invalid. This set list is epic! I’m glad he tossed it up!


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