ACL Live Shot: The Afghan Whigs
Zilker Park, Oct. 12
Reviewed by Adam Schragin, Fri., Oct. 19, 2012
Reunited more than 10 years after their distinctly groovy 1998 swan song 1965, Cincinnati's Afghan Whigs appeared in all black on the big AMD stage, the perfect look for a hip wake or at least cooler climes. The music, guitar-driven hard soul with occasional piano and string supplements, was also darker and more neurotic than you might expect to find at a sunny, beach-ball-festooned gig. Greg Dulli's yowl broke the air of doubt, and the five Whigs behind him pummeled through the snake grooves like champs. The audience didn't seem able to discern 'hits' from new material, though the band was generous with variety, from 1992's Congregation closer "Miles Iz Ded" to recently recorded covers like Frank Ocean's "Lovecrimes." Other callbacks included segueing from "Who Do You Love?" into "Gentlemen," the penultimate blackened-laugh Afghan Whigs song, and Dulli performing part of their cover of Marie "Queenie" Lyons' "See and Don't See" from the audience. As tough and good as the band sounded, the muted audience didn't give back – unfortunate, as the Afghan Whigs are known to turn sparks of energy into full flames.