Afghan Whigs Concert at The Fillmore in San Francisco
Although the Afghan Whigs were the headliner show at The Fillmore last Saturday night, the opening act was one of those things you’ve just gotta see in person to believe. They are called the Har Mar Superstar. Now, the only Har Mar I ever heard of, and maybe I’m the only one who would know that, is an auto mall in Roseville, a suburb between Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The Har Mar Auto Mall. I can hear the commercials in my head. When I mentioned that to my husband, he grinned. He’s heard of this band before, but I suspect that’s probably because they have a close association to Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and Broad City. If you haven’t seen Broad City, btw, you’re missing one of the most hilarious shows on TV. Or cable or wherever it lives, I dunno, I don’t work the remote.
The lead singer of this band is a guy from Marshall, Minnesota. Sean Tillman. He is not what you could call the epitome of a sexy rock-and-roll god. For one thing, he’s fairly short and he’s also chubby. Although my husband is quick to point out that Prince was short, too. He’s also pushing 40 with a receding hairline. But by George, he gives the show his all. He really gets into it. Dances up a storm, like something out of the 1970s or what you might see on British TV. And he takes off his shirt to bounce his sagging belly about the stage. Once you see that image, you can’t unsee it. But it’s good in many ways not to harbor unrealistic expectations of your rock stars. Beauty comes in many forms and we should not idealize perfection.
Let’s just say there no thoughts of wild sex, which is something lots of women think about at a rock concert, as if you didn’t know.
Our reason for visiting San Francisco last weekend was to see the Afghan Whigs. We actually got to meet the Afghan Whigs and at least two of its original members, John Curley, the bass player and Greg Dulli. We’ve caught other shows with Greg Dulli with one of his sideline projects like the Twilight Singers in various cities around the country. It’s one of those guys you just follow. When we we met Greg Dulli, my husband tried to claim that he was the one who introduced me to the Afghan Whigs music, but he was mistaken. I first saw the band at First Avenue in Minneapolis with a bunch of Hells Angels guys, and that was before I met my husband. Which I duly noted when I shook Greg’s hand. Turns out my husband was a beat reporter employed at the Cincinnati Enquirer at the same time that John Curley worked as a photographer at the paper.
It’s indeed a small world.
We got to The Fillmore around 5:30 for sound check and do a meet-and-greet. For some reason, my husband wanted his own photo with the Afghan Whigs, so he is not in my photo. Dulli says to me, “Get in here, Miss First Avenue,” which made me laugh. They were very nice guys and signed posters for us. I eventually gave my poster to a couple of gay guys in the balcony who were overjoyed to receive it. I have no walls in our home to display it and, besides, I bought this super cool print from Mario Duse in Union Square of the fog rolling over the City. I’ll have to remove a few Sacramento top producer plaques, including my Outstanding Life Member of the Sacramento Board of Realtors, to find a place for it.
As a nice tribute to Tom Petty, The Fillmore has arranged a wall with album covers as you approach the back room and balcony. The Afghan Whigs put on a decent show, which included songs from their new album, “In Spade.” And I got the black devil t-shirt, of course.
Which reminds me, when Tom Petty died earlier this month, my team member Josh Amolsch sent me a text message to ask if I was aware of it. I texted him back that I was having a hard time getting over the fact that OJ was out of jail for it to sink in.
Josh asked, “Not a fan?”
I replied, “Who can be a fan of a murderer?”
And all afternoon Josh was busy Googling: “Tom Petty Murderer.”