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How to Prepare for the Afghan Whigs “In Spades” Tour Stop

Posted by October 15th, 2017 No Comments »

Show Preview: The Afghan Whigs
Oct. 18, 2017 @ The Showbox, Seattle
By Gabe Baker

The Afghan Whigs are touring behind their new album In Spades, and they play the Showbox on Wednesday, Oct. 18. I may be in the minority, but In Spades sounds pretty terrific to me. It might be my third favorite ‘Whigs album.

Even if you think the new  record is a boring retread of the band’s glory days, you may want to go to the show. The last time they played Showbox was April 15, 2014, days after Malcolm Young’s retirement was announced. In classic Whigs’ fashion, they dedicated their traditional closer “Faded” to Malcolm, and then followed it up with a nasty version of “Night Prowler.” I would definitely buy an entire album’s worth of the Whigs covering AC/DC. Or anyone, really.

Speaking of covers, so far this tour they’ve done Jeff Buckley (“Last Goodbye”), Bonnie Raitt (“I Can’t Make You Love Me”), Beatles (“Dear Prudence” and “Penny Lane”), Sinead O’Connor! (“Mandinka”!!), Sylvan Esso (“Coffee”), Prince (of course) (“I Wanna Be Your Lover”), Don Henley (“Boys of Summer”), Allman Brothers Band (“Melissa”), Rihanna (“Umbrella”), J.J. Cale (“Magnolia”), Bo Diddley (“Who Do You Love”), David Allen Coe (“Son of the South”), The Doors (“Roadhouse Blues”), The Who (“Baba O’Riley”) and Faces (“Ooh La La”).

In preparation for the show, I listened to everything the ‘Whigs have available on Spotify, which is the all of the studio albums with the exception of Big Top Halloween and the addition of the Uptown Avondale EP and the “I’m A Soldier” and “You Want Love” singles. Add in “deluxe” versions of Gentlemen and Black Love, and you’ve got 111 songs clocking in at 7 hours and 25 minutes. The extra tracks are the usual disposable collection of demos, etc. Except for the delightful piano ballad version of New Order’s “Regret.” (“Greg would like a place he could call his own. Have a conversation on the…”)

I culled the Spotify collection down to an 11-track pre-show playlist. These aren’t necessarily the best or most representative ‘Whigs tracks. Just the ones that give me the biggest jolt right now. For your convenience, the playlist clocks in at exactly 45 minutes. Which means that you can dub it onto Side A of a 90-minute cassette tape to share with your friends.

Here is the playlist, along with the percentage chance that the song will be played at the Showbox show:

“Gentlemen” from Gentlemen (3:53) (25%).

“Fountain and Fairfax” from Gentlemen (4:21) (31.25%).

“What Jail Is Like” from Gentlemen (3:30) (12.5%).

“Crime Scene Part One” from Black Love (5:59) (0% boo).

“Blame, Etc.” from Black Love (4:13) (0% booooo).

“Somethin’ Hot” from 1965 (2:57) (83.33%).

“Matamoros” from Do to the Beast (2:43) (93.75%).

“Birdland” from In Spades (2:49) (72.91%).

“The Spell” from In Spades (3:46) (10.42% – Dammit. This is my favorite song on In Spades. WTF? I must have bad taste. What a dummy.).

“Light as a Feather” from In Spades (3:08) (85.41%).

“Faded” from Black Love (8:25) (81.25% whew).



So please listen and enjoy, and I’ll hope to see you at the show. Also, I’m not telling you what to do or anything, but Side B of your 90-minute cassette tape should probably be Prince. If you don’t feel like throwing together your own Prince playlist, you could do worse than the following 43-minute set:

“Little Red Corvette” from 1999 (4:57).

“When Doves Cry” from Purple Rain (5:53).

“I Would Die 4 U” from Purple Rain (2:59).

“Erotic City” (B-Side to “Let’s Go Crazy” single) (3:55).

“Raspberry Beret” from Around The World In A Day (3:35).

“Kiss” from Parade (3:46).

“Starfish and Coffee” from Sign ‘O’ The Times (2:51).

“The Cross” from Sign ‘O’ The Times (4:46).

“Alphabet Street” (single edit) from Lovesexy (2:25).

“Purple Rain” from Purple Rain (8:41).


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