by Jeff Hahne
The Whigs, The Sammies, The Hymns
April 2, 2009
The Deal: Athens, Ga., rockers The Whigs return to the Visulite and bring along Brooklyn's The Hymns and Charlotte's The Sammies.
The Good: I heard a lot about The Hymns before the show and they definitely lived up to the hype. Playing a 30-minute set in front of a quasi-hometown crowd (some band members are former Harrisburg, N.C., residents), the quartet rocked the stage with its own Stones/Beatles style. The music held fast to a true lead guitarist format where Jason Roberts rattled off more licks than chords. Roberts also rarely stood still as his sweat-soaked frame continually bounced around the stage.
The Sammies, in my mind, played a split-personality of a set. While a good portion of the band's 40 minutes were spent on straight-forward rock that was a little bass heavy at times, the quartet's indie style awash with punk flavor kicked in with songs like "Trainwreck" and "Treat Her Like a Queen." The band's guitarist, Bobby Freedom, later came out to play a solo with The Whigs.
Finally, The Whigs simply rocked it out. Performing on a dark, backlit stage, the trio rifled through a number of old and new songs before kicking it into high gear with a crowd favorite, "Like a Vibration," and closing out the set with the thunderous "Right Hand On My Heart" and "Already Young." Singer/guitarist Parker Gispert practically swallowed the microphone at times with his barbaric yawps.
The Bad: No real complaints. It was a dimly lit show for The Whigs segment of the night, but you'd probably only notice if you were taking pictures. Note to the person using a flash camera that's why bands require approval of photo passes in most cases, so that you won't use one and distract those trying to enjoy the show.
The Verdict: A fantastic rock show with three acts worthy of plenty of praise.
The Whigs setlist
More Than Before
I Don't Even Care About
Give 'Em All a Big Fat Lip
Like a Vibration
Can't Hear You Coming
I Am For Real
Nothing Is Easy
Half the World Away
Right Hand on My Heart
Need You Need You