Stepping onstage before the reunited The Afghan Whigs is a daunting job. Van Hunt was slow to prove he was serious about the task. “Eyes Like Pearls,” from his newest release, What Were You Hoping For? had the audience at a lull. He took a very casual approach; delivering the sultry song in a jam session style.
Making a point to use his smokey and soulful voice; “Seconds of Pleasure” was met with genuine applause. About halfway through his set the crowd became completely engaged, but only because he covered The Pixies’ “Hey.” After making intermittent self-deprecating jokes about having been “boo-ed” off stage several times during the tour, his confidence began to shine. Sharing “Down Here in Hell With You,” then taking to the piano for “What Can I Say?” and wrapping it all up with audience participation for Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Nite” left everyone cheering and amped up for The Afghan Whigs.
The darkened stage was filled with a mirror ball light show and smoothly taken over by the men in black, bringing “Crime Scene Pt. 1” to vivid life. Choosing a broad selection of favourites from their expansive catalog, no fan was left unsatisfied. Greg Dulli’s descent into the crowd for a breathy “See and Don’t See” was as romantic and captivating. Returning to the stage and sitting at the piano to cover Frank Ocean’s “Lovecrimes” and The Weeknd’s “Wicked Games,” Mr. Dulli kept the mood. Van Hunt was welcomed back to the stage for a duet of his, “Mean Sleep,” new fans were made.
Greg, known for his casual “sampling” of songs, tossed out a nice little mash-up. The Afghan Whigs played their “66” with a side of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” and a dash of Prince’s “Little Red Corvette.” Seconds please! Wrapping up their main course with an aggressive and sexy “Fountain and Fairfax,” Los Angeles became memorable. Extensive cheering brought them back to the stage for an intense and beautiful 3 song encore. Choosing from only Black Love and keeping it sequential created a seamless and soothing closure.
The Afghan Whigs Set List:
1. Crime Scene Part 1
2. I’m Her Slave
3. Uptown Again
4. What Jail is Like
5. Conjure Me
6. When We Two Parted
10. My EnemyaA
11. Son of the South
12. See and Don’t See (Marie “Queenie” Lyons cover)
13. Lovecrimes (Frank Ocean cover)
14. Wicked Games (The Weeknd cover)
15. Mean Sleep ( Van Hunt cover, with Van Hunt)
16. Let’s Stay Together/66/Little Red Corvette
17. Fountain and Fairfax
19. Summer’s Kiss
20. Faded/Purple Rain