The Afghan Whigs made a compelling comeback Friday night at The Barby Club in Tel Aviv as part of their 2012 reunion tour.

They came on stage to a surge of cheers and whistles from over 800 screaming fans jam-packed into a sold-out arena. Greg Dulli, The Afghan Whigs’ frontman and chief songwriter, greeted the crowd with a hearty “Shabbat Shalom!” The Whig’s opened with “Crime Scene Part One,” the first song on their 1996 album Black Love. A blast from the past, bringing back the Pearl Jam, Silverchair era of teenage angst and grungy rock of the ‘90s, the set included songs like “Gentlemen” and “When We Two Parted” from their commercially successful 1993 album Gentlemen, which had the entire crowd head bopping and singing along to every word.

“This is a great opportunity for me to see them since they’ve been off the radar for so many years!” said Whigs fan and recent immigrant Mia Weinman from New Jersey.

“I had to come all the way to Israel to see them perform!” Along with their classic alternative grunge rock songs, the Whigs are also known for their covers of R&B and funk numbers.

“Let’s make some babies, ya’ll!” said Dulli, before getting behind his piano to perform his cover of “Lovecrimes,” a song originally recorded by the young R&B artist Frank Ocean in 2011.

This year’s tour is The Whigs first in 14 years, and Friday night’s performance was the first half of their two-part stint in Tel Aviv – a rare opportunity to experience the classic ’90s underground, indie, alternative rock scene that one would not expect to find anywhere in the Middle East.

The Afghan Whigs will be continuing their tour next month in Australia.

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