The Afghan Whigs

Time for a Bavarian Death Waltz

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With a title taken from a line Greg Dulli feeds the crowd during a lull in the proceedings, Time for a Bavarian Death Waltz boasts some fine sound for a bootleg, documenting a 1994 show at the Paradise Club in Boston. As with most of the Afghan Whigs' shows from the Gentlemen period, this proves that they were capable of being -- and at times were most likely -- the hottest rock band on the planet. Depending on the night (or portion of the set), they were also one of the worst. Thankfully, this disc falls closer to the good situation than the less favorable one. Variety is delivered in the form of some ultra-tight performances, occasional tangents, and some unexpected covers. The majority of Gentlemen is presented in good fashion, along with some of the better-known parts of the back catalog. The B-side "Dark End of the Street" (Percy Sledge) makes a pleasant diversion from the usual material. Claiming to be operating without a set list, Dulli asks a third of the way through the show why no one likes New Order. After asking the crowd whether or not they'd like to hear some New Order (the response is an enthusiastic tie between yes and no), the band kicks into a very awful version of "Regret." Surprisingly, Dulli knows most of the lyrics and Steve Earle even flubs his way through the drum patterns successfully, but it's a wreck that isn't short on laughs. Dulli also mischievously threatens to jump off the stage to give an impolite heckler a knuckle sandwich. Compare the wrestling tournament/monster truck rally mood of this and any other Whigs show to the bleak material they were performing around the time; you'll see a very unique, bizarre contrast.

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