Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Whigs w/ the Rikters and Tulsa @ Schuba's - 2/9/08

Saw about half of the Rikters set, and I thought they were pretty good. Local Chicago act, so there will probably be more chances to see them. Tulsa followed with two really good songs, and then sort of went to a grungy alt-country thing that was good, but not great.

The Whigs took the stage a little after midnight and opened the set with the opening tracks off their two albums to get the crowd going. They switched back and forth between albums for a few songs before settling into the newer stuff, and threw out a few covers toward the end. Setlist below, which is actually complete this time, and in order for the first few songs:

  • Nothing is Easy
  • Like a Vibration
  • Technology
  • Production City
  • OK, Alright
  • Violet Furs
  • Half the World Away
  • I Never Want to Go Home
  • Right Hand on My Heart
  • Sleep Sunshine
  • Hot Bed
  • Already Young
  • God's Biographer
  • Hey, You, Get Off of My Cloud
  • Need You, Need You
The first highlight was Already Young, which just feels like a great live track the first time you listen to it. They didn't disappoint, as the song drew arguably the loudest applause of the night until they played Right Hand On My Heart, which was also terrific.

Whenever I see a band like this, it always feels like there's one song on which I was lukewarm after listening to the album. Then I hear the live version and it blows me away. Hale Sunrise from the Broken West was like that. Last night that song was Half the World Away. It's a slower track, and the keyboards are prevalant. It's easy to tune out when you're just listening to it in the background while working. But about 2:45 into the song, there's a terrific bridge, which almost sounds like a studio jam. It actually really rocks, and in a loud, live setting, it was phenomenal. It's a perfect little digression that doesn't overstay it's welcome. From now on, that song will never sound the same to me.

They closed the set with a cover of the song God's Biographer by the Dutch band Bingo Trappers. Then, jackets off and sweaty from the performance, they braved the cold (about 15-20 degrees). Schuba's has no backstage. Bands head outside before playing their encore. Needless to say, it can be a bit of a shock to a band from Athens, GA. So before too long, they were back, and closed it out with Hey You, Get Off Of My Cloud, and finally Need You, Need You.

All in all it was a great hour of music, and I'm kicking myself for leaving early when they played with the Broken West a few months ago. I'll try not to make that mistake again. They didn't play Give 'Em All a Big Fat Lip, which was a bit of a disappointment, but really, no complaints.

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