The Whigs | 02.14.08

live_whigs.jpgThis was a particularly galling example of poor turnout, considering that The Whigs have been popping up favorably in all kinds of national press and played recent stellar sets on Conan and Letterman.

 

 

 

Creepy Crawl, St. Louis

Cupid was nowhere to be seen this Valentine’s Day at the Creepy Crawl—and for the most part neither was anyone else, not even the bands that were supposed to be playing that night.

Two unbilled opening bands filled in for Tulsa and Wax Fang, but one could not help feeling like a jilted lover listening to them play. Similar in genre and style but lacking songwriting and substance, they were adequate but not satisfying replacements.

Wild Sweet Orange, hailing from Montgomery, Ala., was the better of the two. These five scruffy/clean boys have a slightly immature take on the "grand southern sound" as pioneered by bands like My Morning Jacket. Not quite as majestic, soulful or interesting as what they are aiming for, but they show great potential. The singer in particular comes off like a Jim James for the Jack Johnson set, which, perhaps if not musically thrilling will doubtlessly be attractive to young girls and record labels.

By the time The Whigs took the stage, the crowd had swelled to a raucous crew of at least 20 people, including parents of some of the kids in the opening band. This was a particularly galling example of poor turnout, considering that The Whigs have been popping up favorably in all kinds of national press and played recent stellar sets on Conan and Letterman.

The Athens, Ga., three-piece started their set off loud and maintained the energy through the end. Songs like "Already Young" and "Right Hand on My Heart" are reminiscent of The Replacements, with singer Parker Gispert lending sweetness to the hard-scrabble rock. All three members showed their experience as musicians and performers. It’s easy to see why they have become the new darlings of the Athens scene.

The set was short, sweet and ultra high-energy. Most of the songs were from their new record Mission Control. After running through about 10 songs, the band called it a night, reappearing quickly to as much applause as 20 people could muster to treat us to a great cover of the Stones’ "Get Off of My Cloud." Which, coming from a band like The Whigs, was better than any Valentine’s Day present I could have gotten. | Morgan Davis

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