New Yorkers pride themselves on their chameleon-like ability toadapt to any situation, but last night (Dec. 4) at downtown haunt theKnitting Factory, Athens, GA-based trio the Whigsput a cross-section of the Big Apple's concertgoers in their place --one of snooty subdue. Strolling onstage clad in a mix bag of Goodwillspecials, the Whigs kicked out a rusty rendition of "Like a Vibration,"the opening track from their forthcoming sophomore LP Mission Control,as a crowd heavily weighted in industry types stood idle. Received withuncertainty, the band's raucous sonic soon fell into place as the Whigsfound stride in third tune, "Hot Bed," as frontman Parker Gispert'sthroat warmed, scraping each vocal chord as he belted and moved intomahawk-like unison with his guitar.
Strolling through "Violet Furs" and "Don't Talk Anymore," both off debut Give Em' All a Big Fat Lip,it was clear the Whigs' blithe yet musically precise and heated set hadthe upper hand on the tame audience, shaming New York's inability tolet their hair down and rock out. "You guys are a quiet crowd,"pronounced Gispert, soon met with the cross-armed, black-cladspectators' singular cheer. Responding, the towering, ragamuffinfrontman nearly ate the microphone in a gaping roar and racked hissix-string viciously through new track "Nothing is Easy" as drummerJulian Dorio plowed out piston-chugging rhythms in atomic time, andbassist Tim Deaux snapped in tense jerks. Jaws dropped, and chatterhailing the show ensued, but those on hand failed to embrace the moment-- it's called fun, people. The Whigs: 1 New York: 0.
We Asked:The Whigs were formed at the University of Georgia, recorded theirdebut in a frat house, and are often credited for continuing the"college rock" sound of bands like Superchunk. That said, what banddefined your college experience?