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Wednesday, December 13

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Transmission
« Heading South to SXSW 2009 Heading South to SXSW 2009, Blueblood, Day 1 »

Review Sat Mar 14 2009

Review: The Whigs @ Bottom Lounge, 3/13

I don't believe rock bands should play pre-recorded backing tracks at their shows. If a band can't play a song without an instrument none of its members play, they should either have someone who can play one or not play the song(s) at all. The point of live music is not to regurgitate recorded songs just for the sake of it. When the Whigs piped in unnecessary horns for "Mission Control", it sounded completely artificial. I suppose that wouldn't've bothered me much if it hadn't been a precursor for the rest of their 65-minute set that more or less mirrored all aspects of the southern garage blues/rock sound found on their albums. (Though, I can't speak for the 5-6 new songs that they dropped in.) The first 45 minutes were dominated by midtempo songs from Give 'Em All a Big Fat Lip and a forthcoming release after beginning with 2 or 3 from Mission Control, which left the set backloaded with the rockers. They mastered those. Now, the Whigs certainly do not lack any energy or ferocity onstage. They rip like any rock'n'roll band should. They just appear to be set in their arrangements, for better or worse.


On the other hand, Dead Confederate sounded like a totally different band live. Wrecking Ball is a pop album in comparison. Hardy Morris' voice echoes Kurt Cobain's at times and the music channels elements of Dinosaur Jr's sludgy grunge along with some seriously heavy psychedelic influences. Even songs like "The Rat" were rawer than on Wrecking Ball, if you can believe it. They turned in a very impressive set that was leaps and bounds better than their record, even treating the crowd to a Sonic Youth cover. Rounding out the greater Atlanta metropolitan area tour was Trances Arc, who played a tightly-wound power-pop set and seemed genuinely thrilled to be in Chicago for the first time.

 
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Andy Keil / March 16, 2009 10:34 AM

I think the new songs are pretty decent. After seeing the Whigs once with the Kooks and twice with the Kings of Leon this year, this set was far and above better than any of their opening sets.

Here's my photos from the show including set list:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28481287@N07/sets/72157615311019490/

James / March 16, 2009 11:54 AM

Thanks for the photos link, Andy. That set list, though, is a bit inaccurate as they dropped "Right Hand on My Heart" earlier in the set. But at least now I have the names of some of those good new songs.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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