Greg Dulli’s Afghan Whigs, who reunited last year, have never shied from mixing sultry R&B into their brawny rock. Last May, they celebrated their first TV gig in more than a decade by covering a couple of songs by soul singer Mary “Queenie” Lyons. On Friday night at SXSW, the Ohio-based band was in the midst of an admirably committed — and therefore forgivably pitchy — cover of Usher’s 2012-seducing “Climax” when the Confessions crooner himself joined them to flaunt his gorgeous falsetto. After the song, Ush accurately called the Whigs “indie rock royalty” and said it was his first time at the annual Austin confab. He stuck around to help out on his hosts’ searing “Somethin’ Hot,” the opening track from 1998’s 1965, and then they backed him on the will.i.am-written “OMG,” a dance-friendly hit from Usher’s 2010 Raymond v. Raymond. In between, Usher asked for positive thoughts for the ailing Lil Wayne, who surely appreciated the love.
Watch it above; “Climax” starts a little after the 13:30 mark.