by Nash Bussieres

Last night I saw two bands at The Phoenix that are notorious for their rabid fanboys (and therefore I feel pretty inadequate trying to talk about them).

I was introduced to Crocodiles the same way a lot of casual listeners were introduced to them in the late ’00s, with their remarkably catchy, unapologetically-Jesus-and-Mary-Chain-worshiping wonder-song I Wanna Kill. A drum machine, a guitar and heavily processed vocals are all there is to it (that’s not a bad thing necessarily), so I was really excited to see them as a 5 piece band. There were some definite FOH mix issues with the set (near-nonexistent vox, the guitar was indistinguishably muddy until the 3rd or 4th song, etc), but they put on an incredible set regardless. Massive swells and lulls in their noisy, poppy tracks made me want to sing along even though I didn’t know the words. The crowd wasn’t there for them, but Crocodiles performed a very lively and energetic set regardless.

The Afghan Whigs are one of those bands I’ve known about forever (it’d be tough growing up listening to 90s alt and not knowing who they are), but I hadn’t really ever listened to them. The Whigs set was a hodgepodge of songs spanning their career (as expected from a band doing a reunion tour) and a few covers, including a Frank Ocean tune. Every 35+ y/o woman (read: every woman except 2) in the crowd was swooning for the singer Greg Dulli. Consequently, they turned into a swarm resembling Justin Bieber fans when he decided to sing a song in the middle of the crowd. It was sort of funny being way younger than the average member of the crowd, but it’s really exciting to see people still so obsessed with music that they’ve loved for decades.