The White Stripes have shared a video of “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”, filmed live at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) in 2001. This previously unseen live video comes as a preview of the forthcoming Third Man Records (TMR) Vault package #50, which documents this pivotal show in The White Stripes’ career.
On November 2nd, 2001, not even four months after the release of White Blood Cells, The White Stripes’ third studio album, Jack and Meg White took the stage at the DIA for an iconic hometown performance. Not only was this a statement performance by the Detroit duo, inducing mouth-watering video clips that would circulate the web for decades, but it also marked the largest single-day attendance record for the DIA.
In a statement to Third Man Records, a “big wig” at the DIA noted: “That was the best thing we’ve ever done. It was also the worst thing we’ve ever done.”
Well, the worst thing was that thousands of people brushed up against irreplaceable art, such as Diego Rivera‘s 27, larger-than-life scenes known as the Detroit Industry Murals—though notably, without damaging anything. The best thing, of course, was that thousands of people crowded the halls of the DIA to catch a glimpse at the quickly-rising Detroit mainstays who were on their way to international stardom.
Performing 33 songs (a very deliberate number if you ask any fan of The White Stripes) over two sets, Jack and Meg brought more energy to the DIA than has probably ever been seen before or since. They played a variety of songs from the then newly-released White Blood Cells, including “Hotel Yorba” and “I’m Finding It Harder to Be a Gentleman”, as well as covers that remained staples throughout the band’s career, like “Robert Johnson‘s “Stop Breaking Down”, Bob Dylan‘s “One More Cup of Coffee”, and Son House‘s “Death Letter”. The unforgettable performance also included a tribute to the underappreciated Detroit punk scene, with covers of Iggy Pop‘s “I’m Bored”, The Gories‘ “Omologato”, and MC5‘s “Looking At You”.
Arriving in the always-appropriate three-hole, this unheard “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” followed a “Little Room” opener and “The Big Three Killed My Baby”—an ever-critical song about Detroit’s car industry.
Like every version of “Dead Leaves”, Jack kicked this one off with the gut-punch of his Big Muff fuzz pedal before channeling his “clean” tone for a soft romp through the first verse. Characterized by its verse-chorus distinction, this version of “Dead Leaves” carried all the ear-piercing distortion one would expect from the song, cradled by the warm embrace of the verses.
Below, check out the newly-released live version of “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”, filmed at the DIA in 2002, and head here to pre-order the TMR Vault #50. This package will include a two-LP set on red and white vinyl, a pro-shot DVD of the performance, previously unseen photos, and a custom gatefold jacket. Furthermore, scroll down for a full tracklist of the LP.
The White Stripes – “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” – 11/2/01
Third Man Records Vault #50 Tracklist
1. Little Room
2. The Big Three Killed My Baby
3. Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
4. Hotel Yorba
5. Lord, Send Me An Angel (Blind Willie McTell cover)
7. Jack the Ripper (Screaming Lord Sutch cover)
8. Death Letter (Son House cover)
9. One More Cup Of Coffee (Bob Dylan cover)
10. I’m Bored (Iggy Pop cover)
11. Omologato (The Gories cover)
12. Looking At You (MC5 cover)
13. We’re Going To Be Friends
14. Baby Blue (Gene Vincent cover)
15. Cannon / Grinnin’ In Your Face (Son House cover)
16. Boll Weevil (traditional)
17. Let’s Shake Hands
18. When I Hear My Name
19. Jolene (Dolly Parton cover)
20. You’re Pretty Good Looking (For A Girl)
21. Hello Operator
22. Stop Breaking Down (Robert Johnson cover)
23. Apple Blossom
24. Fell In Love With A Girl
25. I Fought Pirhanas
26. Let’s Build A Home
27. Goin’ Back To Memphis (Henry and June cover)
29. Rated X (Loretta Lynn cover)
31. I’m Finding It Harder To Be A Gentleman
32. Your Southern Can Is Mine (Blind Willie McTell cover)