You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Afghan Whigs

While comparatively small-scale in its nature, the show was outsized in its emotional and sonic heft, and clearly a galvanizing experience for an aud that was clearly dominated by true believers prepared to sing along with virtually every word.

Cast:
<b>Band:</b> Greg Dulli, John Curley, Rick McCollum, Dave Rosser, Cully Symington, Rick Nelson. Reviewed May 23, 2012.

Over the course of a dozen years together, the Afghan Whigs lived hard, played loud and captured a zeitgeist that was utterly unique, a melange of good melodies and bad vibes, rusty-razor guitars and sweet soul singing held together by darkly charismatic frontman Greg Dulli. While they split in 1999, the Whigs went out with neither a bang nor a whimper – – or even a real announcement, simply a slow fade into the shadows that spawned them.

This 13-years-later emergence was anything but quiet: While comparatively small-scale in its nature, the show was outsized in its emotional and sonic heft, and clearly a galvanizing experience for an aud that was clearly dominated by true believers prepared to sing along with virtually every word. And from the opening strains of the listing “Crime Scene, Part One,” many did just that, craning to glimpse Dulli and company through the purposefully murky back-lighting.

Most of the set was culled from what’s generally considered the Whigs’ peak era – spanning albums like 1992’s “Congregation” and the following year’s “Gentlemen” – and the performances here rivaled the steeliness they exuded in those days. Dulli, however, seemed less on edge and more capable of channeling his fervor into song (even the set’s one sparring session, with a middle-finger-wagging heckler, didn’t knock him off track).

The band, augmented here by two multi-instrumentalists that have worked with Dulli in his more recent bands, alternated tension and release with aplomb, hitting squalling peaks on “What Jail Is Like” and “Conjure Me” and downshifting into foreplay mode for extended takes on “When We Two Parted” and “See and Don’t See” (the Queenie Lyons’ cover that’s served as the Whigs’ recorded comeback).

The two-hour program was punctuated by the sorts of R&B and funk forays that always characterized the band’s live shows – a snatch of Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” was tossed into the middle of a bump-and-grind “’66,” and a verse or two of “Purple Rain” unspooled at set’s end. Their tastes haven’t been frozen in time, however, as they proved in a slinky romp through “Love Crimes,” a playfully sexed-up 2011 track by Odd Future’s Frank Ocean.

While a few shows have been scheduled for later this year – including a headlining set at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in Asbury Park in September – the Whigs haven’t laid out a defined path for the future, but if this perf is any indication, there will be some scorched earth along the way.

Afghan Whigs

Bowery Ballroom; 500 capacity; $35 top

Production: Presented by Bowery Presents.

Cast: Band: Greg Dulli, John Curley, Rick McCollum, Dave Rosser, Cully Symington, Rick Nelson. Reviewed May 23, 2012.

More Music

  • Chance the Rapper Premieres New Song

    Chance the Rapper Premieres New Song on 'The Late Show' (Watch)

    Over the course of a dozen years together, the Afghan Whigs lived hard, played loud and captured a zeitgeist that was utterly unique, a melange of good melodies and bad vibes, rusty-razor guitars and sweet soul singing held together by darkly charismatic frontman Greg Dulli. While they split in 1999, the Whigs went out with […]

  • Amazon Alexa mobile

    Amazon Music App Is Getting Alexa-Powered Voice Control

    Over the course of a dozen years together, the Afghan Whigs lived hard, played loud and captured a zeitgeist that was utterly unique, a melange of good melodies and bad vibes, rusty-razor guitars and sweet soul singing held together by darkly charismatic frontman Greg Dulli. While they split in 1999, the Whigs went out with […]

  • Terrell Carter Empire

    'Empire' Promotes Jamal's Love Interest to Series Regular for Season 4

    Over the course of a dozen years together, the Afghan Whigs lived hard, played loud and captured a zeitgeist that was utterly unique, a melange of good melodies and bad vibes, rusty-razor guitars and sweet soul singing held together by darkly charismatic frontman Greg Dulli. While they split in 1999, the Whigs went out with […]

  • Curb Your Enthusiasm

    'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Re-Ups With Production Music House Killer Tracks

    Over the course of a dozen years together, the Afghan Whigs lived hard, played loud and captured a zeitgeist that was utterly unique, a melange of good melodies and bad vibes, rusty-razor guitars and sweet soul singing held together by darkly charismatic frontman Greg Dulli. While they split in 1999, the Whigs went out with […]

  • Ryan Seacrest with Elvis Duran

    Miley, Kesha and Pink, Oh My! 36 Hours With iHeartRadio's Elvis Duran

    Over the course of a dozen years together, the Afghan Whigs lived hard, played loud and captured a zeitgeist that was utterly unique, a melange of good melodies and bad vibes, rusty-razor guitars and sweet soul singing held together by darkly charismatic frontman Greg Dulli. While they split in 1999, the Whigs went out with […]

  • Pretty Woman Anniversary

    'Pretty Woman' Musical Sets Broadway Path With Bryan Adams, Garry Marshall

    Over the course of a dozen years together, the Afghan Whigs lived hard, played loud and captured a zeitgeist that was utterly unique, a melange of good melodies and bad vibes, rusty-razor guitars and sweet soul singing held together by darkly charismatic frontman Greg Dulli. While they split in 1999, the Whigs went out with […]

  • Tom Corson RCA

    Tom Corson to Leave RCA for Warner Bros. Records

    Over the course of a dozen years together, the Afghan Whigs lived hard, played loud and captured a zeitgeist that was utterly unique, a melange of good melodies and bad vibes, rusty-razor guitars and sweet soul singing held together by darkly charismatic frontman Greg Dulli. While they split in 1999, the Whigs went out with […]

More From Our Brands