They are joined by Flaming Lips for the big midnight countdown...

The White Stripes saw in the new year with a major show in Chicago last night – the band’s first since frontman Jack White was charged with aggravated assault.

The band were joined onstage at the 4,500 Aragon Ballroom to count in 2004 by support act The Flaming Lips. Together they worked through a version of Stripes track ‘We’re Going To Be Friends’.

“It’s two minutes before the countdown,” a white-suited Wayne Coyne told the crowd. “So get out of the bathroom and find who you want to be with.” He then busied himself applying his usual fake blood and wiping a big smudge on Jack’s clean white T-shirt.

At the stroke of midnight, red, white and black balloons and confetti were showered on the crowd as both bands launched into a rollicking version of ‘Seven Nation Army’ – Coyne grabbed a bull horn and helped out White on vocals.

The White Stripes played a 20 song set mined from all four Stripes albums throwing in standards like ‘Hotel Yorba’, ‘Apple Blossom’ and ‘Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground’.

However, Jack White pointedly avoided making any reference to the alleged nightclub assault on Von Bondies singer Jason Stollsteimer last month. Stollsteimer needed hospital treatment after an altercation with White at the Magic Stick in Detroit on December 13. The show was an album launch party for blues country outfit Blanche – who were also on the bill last night. White claimed he was acting in self-defence but has since been charged with aggravated assault.

White showed rather more festive cheer. “This is the last song of the night,” he said as he introduced ‘Boll Weevil’, “Walk home hand in hand and hug your mothers and fathers when you get there.”

White Stripes set-list:

1. When I Hear My Name

2. Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground

3. I Think I Smell A Rat (skips last verse and goes into…)

4. Let’s Shake Hands

5. Love Sick

6. In The Cold, Cold Night

7. The Hardest Button To Button

8. I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother’s Heart

9. Death Letter

10. We’re going to be friends (with Flaming Lips on bass and second guitar.)

11. Seven Nation Army w/ Flaming Lips at stroke of midnight

12. Hotel Yorba

13. Ball and Biscuit

14. Apple Blossom

15. Cannon/John the Revelator


16. The Big Three Killed My Baby

17. I Fought Piranhas

18. Lets Build A Home/ Goin Back to Memphis

19.I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself

20. Boll Weevil