When The Afghan Whigs brought their music to the masses, it was during the grunge/garage heyday of the early '90s, when nearly any band that played hard rock was immediately classified as a "Seattle band" or "Grunge band," regardless of their position on the globe. Ohio's Afghan Whigs may have had the sound and look as those other bands, but they had something different, that something was their singer Greg Dulli's dark lyrics and profound voice. From 1988 to 2001, The Afghan Whigs were a '90s band that had a few hits but never got to the status of their colleagues. When they announced their split in 2001, it came as no surprise to many fans and left those curious if they would ever get back together again. When the band announced their reunion in December of 2011 and the following spring, making their reunion debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, nearly everyone that wrote them off or forgot about them all-of-a-sudden remembered and were blown away by their comeback. From small headlining gigs to playing Lollapalooza and then curating this year's ATP, The Afghan Whigs are enjoying their time back together, which brought them to a sold-out crowd at Manhattan's Terminal 5 on Friday night.
Walking on stage the six members of the band got a heroes welcome from the New York crowd. "Hi, we are the Afghan Whigs from Cincinnati, Ohio," Dulli said. From the grand opening of "Debonair," Dulli and the boys immediately sounded better now -- as much wiser, older men --than they ever did before. With the stage up-lit and back-lit, it casted a moody and stark ambiance in the large room, the audience in the back and up top having a hard time making out who was who on stage. The Afghan Whigs proved they were going to let the music do the talking. In a career spanning 100-minute set that included covers of The Beatles "Helter Skelter," Frank Ocean's "Love Crimes" and "Thinkin' About You," Queenie Lyons' "See and Don't See" and Prince's "Purple Rain" and "Little Red Corvette," The Afghan Whigs were paying their respects to those who aided their influence. While the covers may have been rearranged, the bands own songs "Gentlemen," "Retarded" and "Milez is Dead" sounded much more ferocious and angst-ridden that ever before. Especially with the entire room screaming back the lyrics, The Afghan Whigs' reunion may have been the best thing to happen to their career. They remind us that they were not just another face in the '90s rock crowd, but a lost diamond in the rough.