Whitney brings Americana vibes and on-stage make outs to Majestic

Chicago band returned to Madison with much fanfare

Amos Mayberry/The Badger Herald

Post-concert depression is rough.

Those who attended Whitney’s concert Friday at the Majestic can surely attest to this (if you’re like me, you spent the whole next day listening to the vinyl and tearing up).

The atmosphere of the room was one unique to  a Whitney show. It felt like a large family reunion. Everyone was friendly and felt interconnected to one another. The crowd consisted mostly of flannels and mustached faces, basically the general hipster style.

As a fairly new band, it’s impressive that Whitney has garnered such a large fanbase already, both here in America and in other parts of the world, though it’s not exactly surprising. Their core members, Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich made it as members of Smith Westerns and Unknown Mortal Orchestra respectively.

But before Whitney could take the stage, the two openers, Disq and Soul Low, definitely earned their spot on the bill.

Disq was up first. They hail from — drumroll please —our very own Madison. Playing “lo-fi glam,” the quartet impressed with tracks from their freshman album, Disq 1. They also pulled off a harrowing rendition of a track most famously known for its Amy Winehouse cover, “Valerie.”

Founded two years ago, the group was solid, complete with a cool look — furs, stripes and fluffy hair (sported by the lead singer) and solid tracks.

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After a short break, Soul Low took the stage. Traveling from Milwaukee, this group brought something completely new. The voice of the lead singer was unlike anything I’ve heard before, taking the audience by complete surprise.

They had a lot of upbeat songs, quick stops and tempo changes and left the crowd wanting more. They later joined the crowd as Whitney prepared to take stage amidst palpable anticipation.

Let’s just say that I, along with the crowd, lost my shit as they took the stage and played the first song.

Whitney is composed of seven band mates, though the backbone of the band consists of Ehrlich (lead vocal, drums) and Kakacek (lead guitar), who both held down the front of the stage.

The way they were set up was atypical but very fitting. Ehrlich is featured on drums, impressively balancing vocals while keeping the rhythm. Ehrlich and his drums took center stage, while the other band mates fell behind and beside him.

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Whitney kept the audience thoroughly entertained throughout the night. Between songs, Ehrlich made comments about the whiskey they would drink and inquiries as to where to party when the set was over.

They even asked the crowd for a place to stay for the night.

Funny enough as those comments were, they weren’t the least of his stage antics. During the middle of a song, Josiah Marshall, the bassist, came up from the back of the stage and planted himself in front of Ehrlich. From there they shared a short, but emotional, make-out session.

Though the motives behind the kiss are unknown, the crowd loved it, erupting in cheers.

The boys made the crowd wait until the very last encore song to play “No Woman,” no doubt the most popular song on their record. 

After the song ended, the set was done, but that wasn’t the last of Whitney. While the main chunk of the audience left the Majestic, the band came out to mingle with the crowd, take pitures and smoke cigarettes.

This just leaves fans another reason to love Whitney— it’s not only about the fame for them, it’s about the music and the people who appreciate it.

Overall, the show was an experience not to miss. But if you did they will be back in February to open for The Head and The Heart.


This article was published Dec 6, 2016 at 7:30 pm and last updated Dec 6, 2016 at 7:30 pm


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