Jack White filled in as musical guest for the second episode of Saturday Night Live‘s 46th season, hosted by Bill Burr. Called in last minute to replace country singer Morgan Wallace, White and his power trio including Dominic Davis (bass), and Daru Jones (drums) first performed a medley of “Ball and Biscuit,” “Don’t Hurt Yourself” and “Jesus Is Coming Soon,” and “Lazaretto” off White’s second solo album later in the show.
This was the fourth time Jack White performed on Saturday Night Live, going back to 2002. The first performance began with the infectious riff of “Don’t Hurt Yourself” from White’s collaboration with Beyoncé, before transitioning into “Ball and Biscuit” from The White Stripes’ fourth album, Elephant, which also featured a nod to Blind Willie Johnson’s “Jesus Is Coming Soon.”
As noted by Benjy Eisen on Twitter, “Jesus is Coming Soon” has a COVID-19 tie-in, as the original song was written about the 1918 H1N1 influenza that killed over 50 million people worldwide, and includes the lines “It was an epidemic/It floated through the air.”
“Lazaretto,” the title track of White’s GRAMMY-winning sophomore solo album followed as the second performance of the evening. Bassist Davis wore a shirt that read PRINE, a nod to the late singer/songwriter John Prine, on what would have been his 80th birthday.
White gave a subtle nod to the late Eddie Van Halen during “Lazaretto,” using a model of guitar similar to Eddie Van Halen’s, but also playing a finger tapping solo mid-song, a signature move of Van Halen’s.
The White Stripes Greatest Hits arrives on December 4 on Third Man Records/Columbia Records.