If there was one word I had to use to describe last night’s performance by The Afghan Whigs, it would be Spiritual. It was the first time I was seeing this storied band as I had missed them in the early 90’s when they played on the campus of The University Of Houston on the ‘Gentlemen’ tour. First, I must mention the fantastic venue where this show was held – The Heights Theater on 19thStreet. Tucked in between quirky boutiques, cafes, and restaurants; this charming venue is a stellar place to see live music. It boasts ample floor space and a full wrap around upper mezzanine seating area. The sound/acoustics were warm and sonically delightful.
Har Mar Superstar opened the show with their cheeky brand of soulful croon based tunes. They were quite a visual spectacle and very talented at the same time. The Whigs are touring in support of their latest record entitled ‘In Spades’ and last night in Houston was the last date of the tour. The new record is awesome by the way. The stage setup was subtle no frills with white amps and cabinets sporting the ultra-cool artwork from the new album. Lighting was also really tasteful with nothing fancy or distracting. It was all about the awesome performance by a killer American Rock band that had the crowd roaring and dancing the entire time. At one point Greg Dulli said to the crowd – “Who keeps calling me Dulli as if you are my high school coach? It’s Mr. Dulli to you.” I found that pretty darn funny. He also gave his guitar tech who has been with him for a very long time a hard time throughout the show as the dude was retiring. Greg then introduced his new tech as – “Out with the old and in with the young and beautiful”. Mr. Dulli didn’t talk too much, but when he did, he was charming and witty. A great front-man. The band was on fire and every song was executed with beauty and perfection. From hard-hitting driving Rock songs to moody mellow numbers that incorporated keys, violin, and cello.
A truly hypnotic, mesmerizing, and captivating performance by a band that will hopefully continue on for many years to come and is poised to be considered and revered as a timeless Classic American Rock band for the ages.