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Monday, December 6

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« 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:

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.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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