There are very few bands that FADER publisher Andy Cohn loves with all his heart. We know Pinback is one, but we were stoked to find that he also had a deep love for Afghan Whigs. He hit their sold out show last night, read his thoughts below.
Last night at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC, Afghan Whigs performed for the first time together in 13 years. “It’s like we never left” newly slim frontman Greg Dulli said to the packed crowd. It certainly didn’t feel like that long though. Dulli and company flipped the switch back on without missing a beat, though there were some guitar tuning issues at one point. Nevertheless, the ever-entertaining Dulli was in great spirits, serenading the room with Afghan Whigs’ classic, dark, soul-infused jams, including a few of their early Sub Pop-released songs like “What Jail is Like.” Dulli’s voice could not have been more on point, blasting at full power when necessary, while dialing back and hitting all his notes in the more delicate moments as well (if you can even use the word “delicate” with respect to the band’s sonic imprint). The signature sound that the band developed and refined through the mid-’90s was on full display with classics like “Gentleman,” “Debonair” and “Bulletproof”—Rick McCollum’s scorching guitarwork provided the perfect backdrop for Dulli’s baritone croons about the dark side of love, relationships, sex and addiction. Most surprisingly, though, was during the first encore when Dulli sat down at a piano and broke into a cover of Frank Ocean’s “Love Crimes.” It’s quite possible that the majority of the older half of the crowd wasn’t aware who he was covering, or that it even was a cover, but they demanded a second encore anyway, to which the band happily obliged by returning to do “Miles Iz Dead.”