Uninhibited despite the small crowd of fans that descended upon Velvet Jones on Saturday night, Georgian-based band the Whigs delivered an all-at-once energetic and wholesome serving of Southern-flavored rock to fist-pumping patrons during their weekend stop in S.B.
Of the three acts that were featured on Saturday night’s bill, opening acts the Spires, Everest, and headliners the Whigs, it was apparent fans relished the musical stylings of the featured headliners above all else. But it was opening act Everest that stirred up the collective pot of magnetic enthusiasm. Despite the fact the Whigs did not actually take the stage until around midnight, the audience was more than happy to make the wait, thanks to the lively performance of their introductory act.
The Whigs played songs off of their new album, In the Dark, and crowd favorites that were request via shout out. Cuts like “Right Hand on My Heart” and the catchy crooner “Like a Vibration” were among the older setlist selections,and the fervent reactions of the dedicated audience members illustrated the Whigs’ timeless touch and ability to satisfy long-following fans.
In fact, it was the eagerness of the fans that truly propelled the direction of the show. At one point in the middle of their set, during a moment that was proclaimed a rock ‘n’ roll emergency, the Whigs were able to work through a technical malfunction — and into a rollicking rendition of “Kill Me Carolyne” — thanks to the encouraging chants of the audience. A serenade of their latest track, “Dying,” was so mightily performed it enabled a table across the club to reverberate to the musical vibrations.
Towards the conclusion of their set, the dwindling audience demonstrated their devotion with robust requests for another dosage of music. “Whigs! Whigs!” was a recurring chant throughout the show. The cries of the clustering crowd for second helpings were reciprocated with “Written Invitation,” which concluded with a celebratory guitar raise. With such endings, it was easy to see how well Southern love translates in SoCal.