Jack White Shines In “It Might Get Loud”

I recently watched a movie titled “It Might Get Loud,” an interesting documentary-style piece starring guitarists Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), The Edge (U2) and Jack White (White Stripes, Raconteurs, Dead Weather).  It was definitely a good watch and although the movie is somewhat guitar-centric, most of the real focus is on each guitarist’s growth as a player and with each of their respective bands.

Some highlights include:

  • A great clip where The Edge where plays a certain riff A/Bing between the wet delayed sound and then the dry sound to point out how important effects are to his sound (or maybe to point out the simplicity in his playing?). The look on his face is hilarious.
  • The summit scenes, where you get a sense of each guy’s personality.  Jack White has this expression on his face – like “shit I’m jamming with Jimmy Page” – which is really quite priceless, kind of like he feels a bit out of place, where Page (apparently the nicest guy ever) seemed to perceive the other two as equals.
  • Some good jam numbers with all three.

Out of all the guys I’d say Jack White impressed me the most. Page is a legend and The Edge is an institution in his own right, but the parts of the film focusing on them rely heavily on archive footage and their history, with a few bits of insight thrown in. The Jack White parts are where we learn the most – the stuff coming out of the man’s mouth is just always right on, from his deep respect for the history of his craft and his love of Son House, to his perspectives and thoughts on playing the instrument and the equipment he uses, the recording process, and the forces that shaped the look and sound of the White Stripes.

To my dismay, the amount of gear porn content is kept to a relative minimum – with the exception of a “guitar spot” for each one of the players (Page’s Strat, The Edge’s Explorer, and Jack White’s Kay) and some random shots of gear being set up for the summit, most of the movie kept the technical stuff off the screen.  Equipment-wise, the highlights are a short scene showing the Edge having “a tender moment” at the beach tweaking his Memory Man’s knobs and another where Jack White whips up a one-string guitar to play through a Big Muff Pi and a vintage amp…  I bet Electro Harmonix was totally psyched.

All in all, I’d say if you are a guitarist or lover of any of these guys’ work, the movie is definitely worth watching. Guitarists shouldn’t expect anything revolutionary in terms of gear porn – don’t expect to hear about their setups or settings – but it is certainly much more guitar-centric than the typical “Behind The Music” special while bringing MUCH more to the table.  Do yourself a favor and go check it out!

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