The first artist to be announced for this year’s MidPoint Music Festival (which is owned and operated by CityBeat ) is one with inexorable ties to Cincinnati. One of the Queen City’s all-time great musical exports, The Afghan Whigs, are set to appear at this year’s MPMF, which returns to the clubs and venues of Over-the-Rhine/Downtown Sept. 25-27. The Whigs are tentatively scheduled to headline the lineup at Washington Park on the Friday night of the fest.
Since forming in the mid-’80s in Cincinnati, the Whigs have continually defied expectations, from its early years on Sub Pop Records, when the band became one of the first non-Pacific Northwest acts on the label, all the way through its quiet dissolution in early ’00s and its remarkable worldwide reunion tour a couple of years ago, during which they broke the “band reunion” mold by sounding tighter and better live than they ever had.
Though singer/songwriter Greg Dulli and bassist John Curley are the only original members in the band (guitarist Rick McCollum parted ways with the group after the world tour), and Dulli hasn’t lived in Cincinnati in a long time, every single article written about the band’s latest album still makes reference to their original hometown. That new, almost universally acclaimed album, Do to the Beast (which finds the band back on Sub Pop), isn’t so much a “return to form” as it is the sound of what the band would be if they’d never broken up. It’s a reinvention, which is unheard of with bands reuniting after an extended hiatus. And it’s going to be awesome to hear wafting through the air in Washington Park this fall, marking the Whigs’ first local appearance since performing at Bogart’s on New Year’s Eve 2012.
Look for another, fuller MPMF.14 lineup announcement next week.
In the meantime, three-day passes for the festival are on sale now at mpmf.cincyticket.com at an early-bird rate that will expire soon. Acts interested in being considered for a performance slot at the festival have until this Sunday to get their submissions in. Find details on how to submit — and everything else MPMF-related — at mpmf.com .