Last Thursday night, the Afghan Whigs played a Coachella warm-up show at Pappy and Harriet’s, a venue in the Joshua Tree desert village of Pioneertown, CA. Literally in the middle of nowhere, Pappy and Hariett’s has no cell reception, so aside from the occasional fan snapping a picture, phones were in pockets allowing for everyone to truly focus on the music, like they would during the Afghan Whigs’ career peak during the ’90s.
The songs were rocking loud and people were dancing too hard to leave and partake of the BBQ being cooked up near the outdoor stage. The desert wind seemed to settle down for the show so no one needed to worry about dust blowing in their drinks or down lead singer Greg Dulli’s vocal chords allowing him to project and scream as needed. The band was probably comfortable playing in the desert air because, as Dulli commented during the set, the band’s most recent album was recorded at the nearby Rancho de la Luna which is owned by Dave Catching (Eagles of Death Metal), who was in the audience that evening. The Whigs played for an hour and a half with an encore that featured a cover of Heaven on Their Minds from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar.
Although a major reason this show went so well was because the members of the recently reunited alt-rock stars played their hearts out to die hard fans, the magic of a cell phone-free venue with a beautiful starry sky above is what made this set perfect. Pappy and Harriet’s had shows lined from Little Dragon and the Pixies this week to warm up for Coachella Weekend 2, too!
Photos by Annie Lesser.