“Notes from the Underground” department.
Last October, the Cincinnati-based Afghan Whigs was ready to play a gig in Boston the same night as the first game of the National League play-offs. The Reds were battling the Pirates, so the band went to a bar to catch the game.
“We decided to do a shot of tequila every time the Reds scored a run,” says singer/guitarist Greg Dulli. “We didn’t know the Reds were going to score three runs in the first inning.” Cincinnati eventually lost and the Whigs ended up quite loaded after making friends with everyone in the bar. “We couldn’t find our way back, so we started to argue,” says Dulli. “By the time we got there, we all hated each other and didn’t even want to play. Halfway through the show, John Curley, the bass player, bent down and I put my foot on his ass and kicked him over. He turned around and wacked me in the head with his bass and we started fighting. The audience thought it was part of the act.” The band left the stage and another fight broke out in the dressing room. Drummer Steven Earle and the Whigs’ manager tried to break it up and got punched in the process. “In the meantime,” says Dulli,”the owner of the bar said it was in our contract to play a full hour. We wiped the blood off our faces and played some more. I don’t think anyone in the crowd knew what happened. We’re all still friends now, but we spend a lot of time away from each other.” Congregation is the Whigs’ latest, moving on from where Up In It left off, meandering between misty serenades and post-apocalypse guitar pop…