All of the elements were there for a disappointing show:
a) they were the middle band of a three-band set
b) it was a Sunday night
c) nobody was really there to see them.
d) I was expecting a LOT, probably too much
Despite all that and more, The Whigs, this new band of kids who look like they’re still in high school, delivered an astounding knockout blow to the college-heavy crowd at Axis last night. Most in attendance were there to see the headliners (some band called Mute Math), but as soon as four minutes into the set, The Whigs were making a very clear and convincing case on who the headliners should have been, and who the headliners WILL be at this time next year.
The Athens, GA-based trio were ALL business from the get-go, stepping on stage and unleashing two new and bruising numbers, then playing most of the cuts from their fantastic 2006 release, “Give ‘Em All A Big Fat Lip.” It’s hard to explain this band. At some points, it feels Nirvana-ish. At other times, it feels like you’re listening to a polished version of The Replacements. Ah, but then one of them will sit down at the keyboard and the band will generate a sound of their very own, via the circus-turned-rock song “Half A World Away” or the lilting “Nothing Is Easy.” The drummer is a monster on the kit, too. These guys have it!
They do not need to resort to terrible on-stage banter, weak jokes, or references to the Red Sox in order to get fake cheers. Their instruments and their songs do it all for them and that’s when you know you’re seeing the real deal.
I try to never say things about bands like “these guys are going to be HUGE!” There are just too many factors that go into a successful band and very little of those factors have to do with talent. So I’m not going to make that claim. But I cannot encourage you enough to give this band a try. The best thing about the internet is that you don’t need to buy anything to give ’em a test ride. They’ve got four full songs up on their MySpace page. “Violet Furs” is one of my early favorites.
if you’re too lazy to go over to MySpace (shame on you) then I’ll post two tracks here:
Just click each to play. If you like what you hear, do yourself a favor – support this great band and buy their record. The band was just signed by Dave Matthews label, ATO Records, a label that is really starting to look impressive, with My Morning Jacket, Ben Kweller, Gomez, David Gray and the North Mississippi All-Stars also on the roster.
Get on board now! By the way, they’re not high schoolers – they all just graduated from college.