Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Should Have Remembered Earplugs, However

Last night I went to see the Afghan Whigs in concert. I've probably talked about them a million times in here, but in case you didn't pick up on it, AW are a top 3 band of my life, up there with Ween and A Tribe Called Quest (I don't count the obvious choices like Beatles, Stones, MJ or Prince because, well, they're obvious). They broke up more than a decade ago, and while I got to see them once, maybe twice before the split, and I've seen their frontman Greg Dulli on like 50 more occasions with his side projects (more on him in a moment), this reunion tour was really something special to me. I'm so happy I got to go.

It was the perfect, perfect show. I know it's lame that some clubs have weeknight curfews (the show had to be over by 11), but I'm lame now because I'm old and tired all the time, so it worked out just swell. I got to enjoy a tight hour an a half of my favorite music--performed with exquisite craft and passion and energy--and get home before my bedtime. To me, the Whigs have never sounded better. I couldn't stop moving or get the smile off my face for the whole show, and it wasn't just nostalgia. They just really stand the test of time.

Fun fact: there are people who go to concerts and never move, not even bob their heads. I don't understand these people. There were a lot of them there last night. I guess I can't all the way blame them, because it was a "mature" crowd, but I am genuinely baffled that the capability to resist moving to the music exists. Especially when you have one of the greatest, sexiest, smart-assiest showmen in the business performing up there. A word about Mr. Dulli, lead singer/guitarist of the Afghan Whigs, if I may. He is my most enduring celebrity crush. I have adored him since I was a teenager, and both he and I have gone through a lot of changes in our lives and appearances and whatnot, but I've never wavered in my ridiculous fangirl devotion. Even when he looked like he could have been John Goodman's stand-in for the Flintstones movie, if I had had the chance to meet him, I would have had a Bieber-esque meltdown. That said, he has done something to himself, be it Crossfit, the Wheatbelly diet, crystal meth, whatever - It. Is. Working. He looks fantastic, not just in shape but healthy and really psyched to be playing. And the playing! All my favorites, like "Going to Town" and "Miles iz Dead" and "Fountain and Fairfax." And the overall caliber of the performance was high enough so that someone like Mike, who enjoys a few of their songs but doesn't know or love them as much as I do, could get into it. And we also ran into a friend there who had never heard the Whigs until that day, when he agreed to go to the show with his girlfriend, and immediately became an AW zealot. GAH music is so awesome. Here's hoping I get to another show before long... though I'm not sure what could hold a candle to this one.

They finished up the encore with "Faded", which is my definition of epic. This clip isn't from last night's show, but it's close enough.

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