When The Afghan Whigs brought their music to the masses it was during the grunge / garage heyday of the early 90's that heard nearly any band that played hard rock were immediately classified as a "Seattle band" or "Grunge band" regardless of their position on the globe. Ohio's Afghan Whigs may have had the sound and look as those other bands, but they had something different, that something was their singer Greg Dulli's dark lyrics and profound voice. From 1988 to 2001, The Afghan Whigs were a 90's band that had a few hits but never got to the status of their colleagues, when they announced their split in 2001, it came as no surprise to many fans and left those curious if they would ever get back together again. When the band announced their reunion in December of 2011 and the following spring making their reunion debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, nearly everyone that wrote them off or forgot about them all-of-a-sudden remembered and were blown away by their comeback. From small headlining gigs to playing Lollapalooza and then curating this years ATP, The Afghan Whigs are enjoying their time back together which brought them to a sold-out crowd at Manhattan's Terminal 5 on Friday night.
Walking on stage the six members of the band got a heroes welcome from the New York Crowd. "Hi, we are the Afghan Whigs from Cincinnati, Ohio," Dulli said. From the grand opening of "Debonair," Dulli and the boys immediately sounded better now as much wiser, older men than they ever did before. With the stage uplighted and backlit, it casted a moody and stark ambiance in the large room with the audience in the back and up top having a hard time making out who was who on stage, The Afghan Whigs proved they were going to let the music do the talking. In a career spanning 100-minute set that included covers of The Beatles "Helter Skelter," Frank Ocean's "Love Crimes" and "Thinkin' About You," Queenie Lyons' “See and Don't See” and Prince's "Purple Rain" and "Little Red Corvette," The Afghan Whigs were paying their respects to those aided their influence. While the covers may have been rearranged, the bands own songs "Gentlemen,""Retarded," and "Milez is Dead" sounded much more ferocious and angst ridden that ever before, especially with the entire room screaming back the lyrics, The Afghan Whigs reunion may have been the best thing to happen to their career as they remind us that they were not just another face in the 90's rock crowd but a lost diamond in the rough.
Opening the show was a rare and special performance by California's Eagles of Death Metal. The band made a rare New York appearance as a special request by The Afghan Whigs to perform at this special concert. While the band consists of Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme and former Queens member, Jesse Hughes, Home does not perform live with the hard rock titans and allows Hughes to take center stage. Hughes, the flamboyant and fun front man, channeled Mick Jagger and Time Curry's Frank N. Furner character from Rocky Horror Picture Show to get the crowd going. Eagles of Death Metal were loud, fast, furious and most of all packed a ton of fun in a band that you can't take seriously but at the same time admire how serious they are as musicians.
The Afghan Whigs 10/6/12 Terminal 5 Setlist:
I'm Her Slave
What Jail Is Like / Helter Skelter
Turn on the Water
When We Two Parted
Gentlemen / Kiss the Floor
See and Don't See
LoveCrimes / Thinkin' 'Bout You
Going to Town
Who Do You Love / Fountain and Fairfax
Faded / Purple Rain
66 / Little Red Corvette
Miles Iz Ded