November 5th, 2012 | by ROBERT HAM Music | Posted In: Concert Review

Banter Review: The Afghan Whigs at Wonder Ballroom, November 2

AfghanWhigs_1Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs - IMAGE: Robert Ham

Here's the deal: concert reviews are pretty perfunctory, self-indulgent exercises in so-called music criticism. There are enough people taking pictures of or taping big live shows and then uploading those images to the Web that you can see for yourself whether it was a success or not. And if you really wanted to go, wouldn't you have gone? So instead of giving you a blow-by-blow account of the Afghan Whigs' rather lackluster performance at Wonder Ballroom this past Friday, we decided to simply give you a taste of what lead Whig/chatterbox Greg Dulli had to say between songs. 

Right after opener "Crime Scene, Part One," speaking to two ruffians in the crowd: "All right, you two guys separate. Right away. You're bugging that guy! I mean, don't be fucking with other people. We're gonna have a good time tonight. You with me? We cool?" — Peacemaker and party starter in one. Classic Dulli. 

A few songs in, addressing the fact that the audience was bathed in green light: "James, leave the lights on. Y'all look like you're in Paranormal Activity. Which one's the demon?!" — Coy pop-culture reference. Got some solid chuckles from the crowd. 

Introducing "Conjure Me" from the Whigs' 1992 album Congregation: "This one's from back in the Satyricon days." Blatant pandering to the locals. But I'll take it. 

Introducing "When We Two Parted/Over My Dead Body": "If you're here with the one you love, grab 'em close, hold 'em tight." — What if I'm here by myself, Greg? Huh?? WHAT THEN?!?!

Speaking to the folks in the balcony: "How's it going out there? You guys relaxing up there? You will get up out of your seats for one of these songs. You tell 'em!" — Good luck, there, Greg. The only way you're going to get those people to move is to wire up their seats with electricity, William Castle-style. 

Other Highlights:

"Y'all live in Portland? Where the rest of y'all from? I've been hanging around in Portland for a couple of days. I've been coming here since the '80s. Back then there was not a Whole Foods in the Pearl. There's some other shit in the Pearl. We up to date now?" — Yeah, yeah, yeah...I don't think anyone's doubting your bona fides here, Greg. If they were, this place would not be sold out and you wouldn't be able to get a few hundred white folks to try and dance like they're Chris Brown. 

"I know y'all are here because I'm a fucked-up motherfucker. I know there's a degree of voyeurism going on here. I know I'm the mark." — Kind of stating the obvious there, my friend. Isn't that why anyone goes to see a live music or comedy performance? We want to see you truck your scars and insecurities out for us to make us feel better about our own. Now hurry up and play "Miles Iz Ded", wouldja?

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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