This is, of course, nothing new. Back in 2010, when writing about the White Stripes' "Under Great White Northern Lights" film, I compared White to "a woodblock printer, a missionary, a wheelwright [and] a buckskin-clad frontiersman" (among other things), all of which are thoroughly awesome in their own way. Shoot, before that, I praised White for phoning a Chicago radio station — from Spain, nonetheless — to accuse them of cowardice (always awesome) after they played a leaked copy of the Stripes' Icky Thump album.
Rather, it was the fact that, for reasons apparent only to him, White decided to bring two backing bands to the show: one all female, the other entirely male. And sure, you could probably argue that the lithe "Love Interruption" could only be played by females, while the more muscular "Sixteen Saltines" benefited from male musicians (Noel Gallagher certainly believes both of these things to be true). In fact, that might actually be why White did it, though I'd prefer to think that he had another reason: Because he is awesome. From his earliest days, White has excelled at turning the most minute of details into the most important of points: everything from the Stripes' unflagging color scheme to the "official tartans" the band had made for their "aluminum anniversary" (that's 10 years, FYI). It's sort of what makes him stand out from his rock-star contemporaries — he genuinely seems to care about stuff like connecting the dots and cultivating a mystique. And his "SNL" stunt is just the latest example of this; not only were his backing bands uniform in their sex, they wore color-coordinated, outfits too. Is there anyone else who would go to these lengths, for no particular reason? Of course not. And yet, the best thing about White is the fact that, even though we've come to expect the unexpected from him, we're always surprised by what he does. Or how effortlessly he seems to do it. Blowing the likes of Lana Del Rey off the "SNL" stage isn't difficult, but doing it with style to spare — well, that's something else entirely. It's awesome. And it's inherently Jack White. He's back and badder than ever, with two new bands at his disposal. For his next trick, perhaps he'll try to revive Lohan's career — and who knows? He might even succeed.
What do you think of White's latest incarnation? Let us know in the comments!