THE AFGHAN WHIGS + HAR MAR SUPERSTAR @ THE FONDA THEATRE
Photos by Danny Hernandez Words by Neelofer Lodhy
The Afghan Whigs received a very warm welcome back to Los Angeles as they played to a packed crowd of both veteran and new fans. “The last time we played in LA, we played here on this stage,” frontman Greg Dulli said. “So thanks for coming out and thank you for spending Friday the 13 with us.”
The Whigs are currently on tour in promotion for their latest effort In Spades, which was released in May this year. Staying true to their 90’s alt rock sound and aesthetic, the band performed a career-spanning set. Fans jumped and passionately sang along with Dulli, showing The Afghan Whig’s relevance still holds strong nearly 30 years later.
Earlier last year, the band suffered an emotional loss with the unfortunate passing of guitarist David Mosser. Mid-set Gulli took a moment to address the band’s current line-up as a five-piece. “We were a six-piece band then, now we’re missing someone. His name was David Mosser and he was one of the most beautiful spirits I’ve ever met. Every night we set up his amplifier right there just in case he wants to stop by and sing it with us, just in case — you never know. This is one of Dave’s favorite songs — we’re gonna do it for him and we’re gonna do it for you, it’s called “Toy Automatic.”
We were in for a special treat as The Afghan Whigs brought out Marcy Mays of Scrawl to perform fan favorite “My Curse.” “People always ask us why we never sing this song on this record, and I’ve said that’s because this is Marcy’s song,” Dulli said. “Marcy is usually in Columbus, but tonight she’s in LA so please give her a warm welcome!”
The Whigs powered on throughout the evening satisfying the thirst quenched of hundreds of fans in a very intimate setting. From singing “Teenage Wristband,” with Petra Haden to covering the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence,” it was a most memorable evening.
Supporting The Afghan Whigs on the In Spades tour is the ever-popular Har Mar Superstar. Minnesota native Sean Tillman has gained a dedicated following, primarily due to the comical, yet entertaining nature of his live show. Har Mar is known for performing his shows quite nearly in the nude, but we weren’t as fortunate as other attendees have been in the past.
Backed by a five-piece band adorned in matching shiny, red bomber jackets and white t-shirts with a logo that appeared to be a play on the La Croix logo, Har Mar entranced us with his vivacious dance moves and smooth vocals accompanied by contemporary R&B and pop sounds with a hint of 50’s revival.
Singing and doing headstands while his guitarist balanced his guitar on his chin were among the many elements that cater to a Har Mar show. While he may not be the picturesque rock star figure that many would expect from a live band, Har Mar Superstar delivers on all accounts of what a great live show should entail.
Setlist (via setlist.fm):
Light as a Feather
My Curse (with Marcy Mays)
Can Rova / Last Goodbye (Jeff Buckley cover)
Teenage Wristband (The Twilight Singers cover) (with Petra Haden)
Going to Town (Slight Return)
Demon In Profile (with Har Mar Superstar)
Dear Prudence (The Beatles cover)
What Jail Is Like
John the Baptist
Into the Floor (with “Boys of Summer” outro)