The opening day of NorthSide this year got off to a rough start with torrential and constant rain and the grounds becoming a muddy mess. A large and eager crowd turned up in force, though, at the smaller Red Stage Friday evening. One thing that the Wigs had going for them (aside from being awesome) was that the stage area was covered by a huge awning – giving shelter to a few hundred people that could find it nowhere else. I arrived in good time and higher spirits than my previous few hours of wandering around in the mud searching for my squads to no avail.
To be fair, I was (back in the day) only a casual fan of Afghan Wigs. This show, however, put me on their side of the fence. After a near 20 year pause, Greg Dulli and co were back with a reformed and re-energized band and a new record.
The lights went up to a heavenly choral piece and Dulli came out alone and sang before being handed a guitar as the rest of the group joined him. Their set was as expected – a solid mix of their old highlights (“Gentleman” a personal best for me) and new tracks from “In Spades” (“Demon in Profile”, “Arabian Nights”) with Dulli in fine voice and the band in flying formation. With a mixed crowd including the middle-aged and young alike interested in one of the few “rock” bands playing the first day in the line-up, the show was very well received.
A solid set from a much over-looked group from one of rock’s best eras. I’m a fan now.
"A solid set from a much over-looked group from one of rock’s best eras. I’m a fan now." (4/6)