CONCERT REVIEW: The Afghan Whigs


In the mid-90s, the Afghan Whigs made a name for themselves by releasing two critically acclaimed albums – Gentlemen and Black Love – each one a voodoo stew of  Motown funk, unfaithful soul and post-grunge alt-rock. And live they could walk the walk with sweaty, frenetic and unpredictable shows that seamlessly weaved their own songs into an assortment of covers – everything from “Moon River” to “Purple Rain” and on some nights both. The Whigs have reunited, without an album to flog and with no agenda except to revive their noir-ish rock for fans new and old. Frontman Greg Dulli and original members Rick McCollum and John Curley (aided by three hired hands) lived up to their legend with a long, intense and altogether sultry show at the Electric Factory on Thursday night. The band played songs from every period of their career and not surprisingly there were two stunning covers – Marie “Queenie” Lyons’ “See and Don’t See” and Frank Ocean’s “Lovecrimes.” The first one was the climax of the show, as frontman Dulli wrung every bit of pain out of the song he could while the band created an emotional wave behind him, the second showed that the Whigs can still own any song they want, taking Ocean’s song  and making it sound like a classic Afghan Whigs song. They followed up that one-two punch with an explosive rendition of Black Love’s “Going To Town” – “Going to town / burn it down / turn around/ and get your stroll on, baby.” Here’s hoping the Whigs keep their stroll on for a while. — PETE TROSHAK