THE WHIGS // Sky City, Augusta (USA)
Words & Photos by Teddie Taylor
In Augusta, GA, hometown of James Brown, The Whigs were just a short drive from their Athens roots. A hometown show, or close enough, is special. It’s like seeing The Beatles in Liverpool or Nirvana in Seattle. Not even running out of gas on the way to the show could keep them from rockin’.
The Whigs have nearly fifteen years of being a band under their belts and five albums of songs to choose from. As always, they journeyed back to their first album and even played a few new songs, one of which, “What’s The Point?” was inspired by the Harry Nilsson fable and, later, Ringo Starr narrated movie. The “Stayling Alive” jam is something that can only be understood in their presence: sheer garage rock ecstasy. Even though their last album was recorded live in the studio, nothing compares to the feeling of hearing the initial drums of “Right Hand On My Heart.” It’s a shame if you’ve ever missed them in your city.
Singer/guitarist Parker Gispert has the energy and flexibility of a young Iggy Pop and is a frontman who obviously revels in every second of playing live. He does near-full splits and never stops moving, all the while sounding exactly as he does on Whigs albums. Julian Dorio, who is well-known now for his stint with Eagles of Death Metal, is one of the greatest drummers to see in person. Red hair flying and sporting an Atlanta Braves baseball jacket, his hard hitting simplicity is incomparable today. While bassist Timothy Deaux tours with Grace Potter, Mitchel Thunderbolt is keeping the ever-present groove.
As at any good rock show, there was a brief moment of banter on the topic of everyone’s favorite band, Creed. The Whigs, never taking themselves too seriously, came back for one more song while “Higher” played over the speakers and they began to play along. There is no deficit of humor in their shows (or, especially, in their posters and merch). The group’s upcoming live album, Live In Little Five, is out in November and is the next best thing to seeing them in all of their rock and roll glory.