CONCERT RECAP: Afghan Whigs plus Wussy @ Tipitina’s Uptown – 10/19/12

CONCERT RECAP: Afghan Whigs plus Wussy @ Tipitina's Uptown - 10/19/12

Friday night brought seminal rock gods, , back to the town where they recorded their last studio album, 1965 (recorded in 1998; named after the year both Greg Dulli and John Curley were born). And what a perfect venue to play, one they knew all too well, Tipitina’s Uptown. Greg joked that it looked like a prison. One thing for certain, if this is jail, I’d never want to come home.

The sold out show was about three quarters full when opening band took the stage. The five piece band formed in 2001 and hail from Afghan Whigs hometown, Cincinnati, Ohio. Needless to say, I wasn’t highly hopeful of a band with such an unflattering name, but then again, Chuck Cleaver was part of The Ass Ponys. The opener consisted of Chuck Cleaver (Vocals, Guitar), Lisa Walker (Vocals, Guitar), Mark Messerly (Bass, Keys), Joe Klug (Drums), and John Erhardt (Pedal Steel). The funny thing is the music is diametrically opposed to the band’s name. Their indie rock vibe threw a powerful punch all throughout the set. Lisa’s vocals complemented Chuck’s pleasantly. They are touring in support of their latest releases, Buckeye and Dangerous Highway 45 (Heartless Bastards split/cover) of which the set was mostly comprised.

It’s hard to believe The Afghan Whigs haven’t been back to New Orleans since the two-night benefit shows for Steve Myers in 1999 at the Shim Sham. I’ve heard many an awesome story from those shows, so I knew I’d be in for a treat. 1993’s Gentleman was the soundtrack to my post-high school years and nearly twenty years later I’m hearing tracks off it as if they were brand new again. The set comprised of material from all the Whigs albums, so whatever your favorite one is/was, odds are you heard a track or two from it, although Up In It didn’t get as much love, but that always tends to happen when a group like the Whigs has such a vast catalogue to work from.

The band took to the stage amid a smoky backdrop and ambient cello music that sparked the mood. As the fog and music faded, the band promptly jumped into “Crime Scene, Part One” then to “I’m Her Slave,” with Greg lamenting his joy for being back in New Orleans. Watching from the side of the stage, the one thing that kept going through my head was how could this band have been gone for so long and sound so wonderful. For one, Greg brought back the original line up, capitalizing on that chemistry. Secondly, he managed to incorporate some amazing covers into the set, and lastly, he has managed to channel all the anger he once had and put it into a highly personal performance. One moment we’re in church, the next we’re in a back alley getting shanked, a dramatic rollercoaster ride whose explanation point of the main set was “Faded,” which managed to do all those things and more. Personal highlight of the night was the heart breaking song “When We Two Parted” off of Gentleman.

Setlist:
Crime Scene, Part One
I’m Her Slave
Uptown Again
What Jail is Like
Fountain and Fairfax
When We Two Parted / Over My Dead Body (Drake cover)
Gentlemen
Conjure Me
John the Baptist
Somethin’ Hot
See and Don’t See (Marie “Queenie” Lyons cover)
Lovecrimes (Frank Ocean cover)
Going to Town
Debonair
Bulletproof
Summer’s Kiss
Faded / Purple Rain (Prince cover)

ENCORE
66
Neglekted
Miles Iz Ded
Into the Floor

October 22, 2012 |  by  |  Photos, Reviews
 
  • Musicgurl

    Those pictures are great! Nice recap. DAMN I LOVE THAT BAND! ;)

  • mamacita75

    Such a great show. Nicely done.

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