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Live Review: The Afghan Whigs, Here We Go Magic

31 July 2012 | 10:56 am | Chris Yates

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Although not exactly sharing the same sonic range as the main event, Brooklyn's Here We Go Magic are certainly an interesting start to the night. The brainchild of Luke Temple, it's still evident that the band are replaying songs built from a singular vision, but they're very synched up as a band and nail it tonight. They finish their set with the legitimate one-chord song, How Do I Know, and the catchiness of the “Woo-hoos” that make up the hook linger over the top of the dub sandwiched between the bands.

The Factory is loud and when The Afghan Whigs kick into Bulletproof there is a collective sigh of relief competing with enthusiastic reverence as everyone in the crowd realises that this is going to be every bit as good as the Whigs could possibly have been in their prime. There wasn't really much fear of it going pear-shaped – Greg Dulli has kept his chops well and truly sharpened with The Twilight Singers, who even gave us glimpses of Afghan Whigs numbers when they last toured. That's nothing compared to a whole set of classics that have never been played in Australia before, and Dulli and company seem just about as excited to be playing them again as the crowd is to see them. They skip around their discography as you would expect from this greatest hits set, and with a heavier emphasis on the Gentlemen album it seems like they can do no wrong. Three guitars, organs and even the occasional cello part create a wall of sound, which erupts with every one of Dulli's magnificent anthemic choruses. He gives a small speech about the beginnings of The Afghan Whigs and how One Day by The Church was one of the first songs they ever learnt to play. When he invites the man who sang it originally to join them on stage, Steve Kilbey seems to be having even more fun than everyone else.

Almost exactly in the middle of the set there is the amazing triple play of Gentleman, Crazy and My Enemy and it's hard to remember anything else is going on in the world anywhere. Dulli introduces Turn On The Water saying it's only the second time they've played it since reforming and it seems like the party is never going to end. After nearly two hours it does, with the promise that they will not wait another 25 years to return. All we can do is hope they keep to their word!