During his 2018 “Boarding House Reach” tour, Jack White played two consecutive nights at The Anthem in Washington D.C. The second of these shows (on May 30th) was filmed and released on Amazon Prime as “Jack White: Kneeling At The Anthem D.C. “. The poster for this concert is a great representation of the show. It pays tribute to both Jack White and the nation’s capital through artwork that fuses them together.
Designed by Matthew Jacobson and Camilo Medina, the poster’s art inserts one of DC’s most iconic landmarks into Jack White’s logo. It depicts three Washington Monuments standing in a row, symbolizing the Roman numeral III. White has used the number three extensively throughout his career and iconography. The poster found the perfect way to connect the artist and the city through a clean and deceptively simple-looking design.
The only colors utilized on the poster are blue, white, and black. This is the color scheme Jack White uses to differentiate his solo career from his other bands and projects (which each have their own three-color schemes as well). These same colors were also very prominent throughout the entire concert. The lighting, graphics, and even the performers’ clothes were all drenched in these exact three colors. In this way, the poster captures the aesthetic feel of the show it represents. The poster for the night before (May 29th) featured the same design, but with the three colors swapped around.
With a print run of 342, the posters are 18×24 inches and hand-stamped/numbered on the back. The front of the poster includes all the important information about the show, such as the date and venue. It also features the name of the show’s opening act, Radkey. This is a nice piece of information that I personally wish more concert posters included.
Like much of the tour, the sold-out May 30th concert featured a career-spanning setlist that covered many of Jack White’s bands and projects. The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and his solo career were all represented in the song selection. White famously does not plan out his setlists before shows but instead decides what to play while onstage. His on-the-spot song choices at The Anthem show featured a perfect mix of new material and all-time favorites.
Among others, “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”, “Steady, as She Goes”, “Icky Thump” and “Seven Nation Army” were all played to the energetic (and cell phone-less) crowd. Six songs from 2018’s “Boarding House Reach” were also played, including “Connected by Love” and “Over and Over and Over”.
Directed by Emmett Malloy, the concert film features many highlights from the show, edited together with backstage interviews, White and his band (comprised of Quincy McCrary, Neal Evans, Carla Azar, and Dominic Davis) exploring DC, and footage of their surprise performance at Woodrow Wilson High School earlier that day. All the excitement and energy of the Anthem show is captured in the movie.
Unfortunately, the film does cut out several noteworthy moments from the show. The tour’s only rendition of White’s song “Take Me With You When You Go”, and an extremely rare performance of “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man” were not included in the film. I personally would like to see the entire show released one day unedited. Along with the film, a six-song EP was also released on Amazon. The tracklist is fantastic, but again I wish more had been included.
The film and EP did not use the concert poster as cover art. Instead, it features a photograph of White and his band at the bottom of DC’s “Exorcist steps” (famously used in the 1973 horror film). Although it is a great picture, this is a missed opportunity in my opinion. The concert’s original poster art is a better representation of the show. However, it is interesting to note that the poster design is partially recreated in the actual film (and its trailer), with three Washington Monuments shown standing next to each other.
The poster for Jack White’s show at the Anthem represents a fantastic night of music, captured forever by a great concert film. The musician and the city are both presented through the art, which also connects to the atmosphere of the performance as a whole. To see more about this poster and the artist’s other works, visit Matthew Jacobson’s website here.