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Jack White stuns crowd at second Los Angeles show, brings out Conan O’Brien and John C. Reilly

Photo by David James Swanson John C. Reilly and Conan O'Brien showed up as special guests to perform with Jack White at White's sold-out concert June 11 at The Mayan in downtown Los Angeles. (Photo by David James Swanson)

The only way Jack White could have outdone himself in Los Angeles was to bring out guests no fan would have expected: funny men Conan O’ Brien and John C. Reilly.

During an epic encore befitting of a Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival surprise, White performed his with the two comedians on guitar during a sold-out show Wednesday at The Mayan in downtown Los Angeles.

Fans were stunned to see the comedians take the stage for a no-joke performance with White. O’Brien tweeted earlier that he had White — “a true friend and incredible musician” — on to perform on the TBS late night show “Conan,” but there wasn’t any indication that he and Reilly would end up performing at White’s show, too.

While a dapper roadie strongly encouraged fans to leave their phones in their pockets at 9:30 p.m. before White’s set (White has his own photographer who takes photos that fans can download for free online after the show), there was a surge of flashing lights during the special performance.

Burbank resident Lillian Letran took to Twitter and called it the “best encore ever” and snapped a few photos of the group showing “The pure joy on @ConanOBrien’a face rockin’ out with #JackWhite.”

The night’s nearly two-hour performance was his third show of the day, White said, and was his second day of back-to-back L.A. appearances following a sold out show at The Fonda Theatre on Tuesday. The run of concerts is in support of his latest album, “Lazaretto,” released on White’s own label, Third Man Record, earlier this week.

His stop at The Fox Theater in Pomona tonight is White’s last before jet-setting to Bonnarro, the big Tennessee music festival just less than 65 miles from his Nashville home, on Saturday.

A non-stop powerhouse of rock, White didn’t speak much as he and his five-piece band wailed on their instruments, which ran the gamut from a mandolin to an upright bass and steel guitar to an ultra groovy theremin. In just the first few songs, a stage hand had to reset the drummer’s cymbals twice because White would play his guitar in the area, hitting the alloy plates with the butt of his axe.

One fan may have put it best, calling the show a “country kitchen jam.” The only difference was that while the group was definitely jamming, it was something of a well-orchestrated jam session with White as the conductor. With every head and hand gesture by White, each member knew exactly what note to hit next and just how hard to hit it. White even used his gestures to command the crowd to sing along, clap or hoot right on beat.

Among fan favorites performed during the show included his latest tracks “Lazaretto” and “Alone In My Home” as well as 2008’s “Top Yourself” originally recorded with side project The Raconteurs and several songs from his days as the The White Stripes, his breakthrough act with then-wife, Meg White such as “Icky Thump,” the title track to The White Stripe’s sixth and final studio album.

As amazing as the concert was for fans, it was what the Cold War Kids front man Nathan Willett called “especially special” for the local band. The L.A. gigs were the first time the five-piece band — with roots in Long Beach, Whittier and Fullerton — has opened for White. The band was originally scheduled to perform with The White Stripes seven years ago at the Forum in Inglewood.

“We were going to open for The White Stripes before we found out that The White Stripes were no longer (going to perform),” explained Willett of The White Stripes’ 2007 U.S. tour that was canceled before the duo officially disbanded in 2011. “You could imagine being a young man playing in a rock and roll band, how important that might be. So this is such an honor playing here tonight.”

Cold War Kids are also scheduled to perform with White in Pomona.

It’s hard to think of what White could possibly do to top the L.A. show, but Pomona will soon find out.

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