When Jack White has done something weird, it probably also means he’s done something interesting. Yesterday, as a guest on BBC Radio, White played a 90-minute set (an exceptionally long set for radio, and available in full here) including songs from his new album, Lazaretto, and selections from the Raconteurs and the White Stripes. White also told host Zane Lowe that one of the basses used during that set was made out of aluminum, “made for the 1930s on cruise ships so it wouldn’t rot.”
While a 90-minute radio set and and a bass made out of antique aluminum are weird, they were nothing compared to what White had in store for later that night. At midnight, he played a secret show. In the basement of a disused office block. To a crowd dressed completely in medical gowns.
It all started when a mock medical infomercial appeared on the Wellcome Trust, an online medical resource. The video led viewers to the website of Vescovo & Company, a fake medical organization that asked visitors to submit their information as part of an online screening process for contagious disease. Those who made it through the screening were asked to come to an after-hours appointment at the Vescovo Clinic. There, everyone was dressed in medical gowns and subjected to tests before an outbreak alarm sounded and the crowd was moved into a smoke-filled quarantine chamber and a waiting Jack White and band, dressed in full medical attire. After a 30-minute set, White “succumbed” to the disease, fell to the ground in a fit of convulsions and was strapped to a stretcher and wheeled out. Scene.