“It Might Get Loud” brings together three of rocks greatest contributors

Logan McMillen

Standing up after, “It Might Get Loud” I noticed that the fan base at the theater was as eclectic as the musicians who had just graced the screen. There were the leather-clad hardcore Led Zeppelin fans, the wanna-be hipster White Stripes fans, and the eggheaded, flatlining U2 fans. The whole audience looked like they were on a field trip from a financially successful halfway-house , and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

My only complaint about “It Might Get Loud” (the new documentary showcasing famous guitarists) was that my ears weren’t ringing. The movie brilliantly intertwined the inspiration behind each of the three guitarists work and the songs that made them famous. The transition between new and vintage clips, as well as live and recorded audio was seamless, spanning three generations of music and culture while doing each artist justice.

The movie opens with a slew of vintage guitars and gear, enough to make the most self-restrained musician drool onto the floor. From there the movie launched right into the stories of Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Jack White (The White Stripes), and The Edge (U2), and how they came to be from childhood to the present, The present being staged in a Los Angeles warehouse where the three are meeting.

From there it is humorous narratives upon sad ones, outlining each of their childhoods. A particularly funny story is that of Jack White’s first band, while he was working as an apprentice for a local upholsterer. The owner (Brian Muldoon) turned Jack onto punk music, and they eventually went on to form a two-man blues-punk band known as “The Upholsterers.”

Throughout the film, The Edge takes a back seat. He is the least technically proficient of the three, and his musical style doesn’t exactly fit in with that of Page and White (both avid blues men). However, The Edge shares some of the most touching moments throughout the film;  growing up during the climax of “The Troubles” in Ireland, The Edge found a way to get out, his music. These hardships growing up helped him cultivate his melodic keyboard-based, style guitar playing.

A set of particularly interesting clips interspersed throughout the film are of Jack White teaching a child-like version of himself how to learn instruments. He learns how to abuse a guitar, stomp to the rhythm of a piano driven face-melter, and how to feel music. After all of this Jack stuffs his former child self into a suitcase and throws him in the trunk of some beat up-car from the fifties, as if the boy were part of some 3rd grade  mafia ring.

As cool as Jack White comes off to be, he cannot beat Jimmy Page. One of the first glimpses we see of him in the movie is him playing the Led Zeppelin classic “The Battle of Evermore” on a beat-up mandolin in front of his London mansion. His personality was mystifying, somber, yet humorous.

The scenes shot at the warehouse were no doubt my favorite, seeing all three of them together was like a view of some gala event put on by the gods of rock. When asked what would happen when they all met, Jack White replied, “Probably a fistfight.”

Although, it wasn’t a rockstar WWE match, the meeting they had was very enlightening. They all shared facts about their playing style and gear choices, along with minimalist musings. This perhaps would be the most boring part for the non-music nerd party, and is the only reason I give the movie a B+. Their jam sessions occasionally link into live or studio versions of the songs they are playing, making for a more realistic experience.