Summer/Fall 2010 Tour Reviews
Two hours and fifteen minutes by bus, one hour of waiting
at the terminal plus one hour crossing the Rio de la Plata by Ferry
to get to Buenos Aires to attend this show. It was supposed to start
at 10.00 PM but the doors of the club didn't open until 10:15 so the
show started around 11:10. I don't know what
Samsung Studio is a beautiful place with great sound. The show was sold out so it was packed and with seats. Did I mention I was on the first row? :-)
I thought that maybe some people were going to chat
during the set but fortunately the crowd was very enthusiastic and
respectful. The set list was almost the same as the European shows
but he sang a
Even though it was just a guitar and a guy singing they sounded very powerful, I was amazed by his voice. I think this show was much better than last year's Gutter Twins show at the Trastienda.
After the show was over we waited outside in the
cold night hoping to see Mark leave as last year. I had asked some
guy inside the club and he kindly told me that the place had two exits,
the main one and
I got some cds signed and even shook his hand.
He was very kind with everyone and talkative unlike last year when
he didn't talk much and didn't take so much time with the fans as
this time. Some guy gave him a present, a drawing of him, he seemed
very moved. Other guy made him sign a Bukowski book and asked him
if he liked him and he replied he did. Another told him he was his
sex-symbol and he laughed. He signed a lot of stuff and took pics
with everybody who asked. That was when I remembered my camera so
I turned it on and began filming but my memory was full as I had recorded
the entire show so the only shame was that I couldn't take a pic of
Mark, my sis and myself, as I had wanted for a long time. We have
been fans since '92. Maybe next time, third time is the charm.
Does The Corner seem bigger to you? Did they used to have a false ceiling? It’s been a while since I was in there and Mark Lanegan is definitely a great reason to return.
Amaya Laucirica is supporting Mark throughout the Australian tour. Her enchanting voice coupled only with her acoustic guitar is a stark contrast from Lanegan’s guttural style but both so fittingly beautiful.
Amaya strummed as the backdrop to my old friends and long lost greetings, sharing stories and a quiet drink. As with us, I feel she was a little lost in the night’s anticipation and a lot of those standing weren’t fully receiving how amazing she was. Glass of wine, quiet bar and Amaya, would be a perfect night.
Mark walked straight out and before even a note was sung he captured the room. His presence is larger than anyone's attention span and his career even more prevalent. Singing with Screaming Trees and living mostly in the shadows of the grunge explosion through to collaborating with such amazing musicians as Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs) with the Twilight Singers / Gutter Twins and Queens Of The Stone Age to name a few. His raw talent leaves every man wishing they’d starting drinking whiskey and smoking cigarettes decades ago with every woman left panting and whispering his name.
Permanent red tones bled from the lights, Dave Rosser (Twilight Singers / Gutter Twins) stood to his side strumming his acoustic and Mark with eyes shut, heart open, just stood there singing pure emotion and it came straight from his soul. It was like he was exorcising demons within himself and baring the darkest secrets of his, at times, somewhat troubled life.
From the first moments we were hooked. Gripped by his rustic tones and the honesty he pervades, Mark Lanegan’s unique vocal style in passing could be taken as raspy and harsh, but when you stop and listen you just fall right into that bass vibrato that seems to underline everything he does.
Mark played songs from throughout his career including solo work, side projects and two Screaming Trees tracks. He also brought us his take on a few covers including Pink Floyd and finished with the track written by Alain Johannes (Them Crooked Vultures touring member, QOTSA, Eleven, Desert Sessions) and made famous by Queens Of The Stone Age, Hanging Tree. Awesome finish.
A few mentioned that Mark didn’t look well and he left straight after the set. Dave wrote on his blog earlier in the day “We both got sick in New Zealand (hey, it’s SUMMER where we live!) and Mark was fighting to not lose his voice”. Mark, your voice was amazing, so obviously “tons of herbs & Sudafed” worked a treat.
If you haven’t experienced, jump on in heart first. It’s a beautiful ride.
I had been looking forward to this for some time, since getting a ticket after seeing one of the solo acoustic shows back in May in Hamburg and thought we may get something similar here.
However, what we got actually ended up surpassing that if anything and goes down as yet another excellent Mark Lanegan concert that I’m lucky to have witnessed.
I was looking forward to this having not been able to see the previous Lanegan shows here with either Greg Dulli or Isobel Campbell and had heard good things about Union Chapel.
I didn’t realise that it was actually a functioning church and it gave the show a somewhat surreal (ice creams were being sold before the opening act and also before Mark Lanegan’s set, reminiscent of an old cinema or theatre, and alcohol could also only be consumed in a bar at the back of the church so many people were watching performances whilst drinking tea, which was a little different), yet intimate feel, but also has great acoustics.
As for much of the acoustic tour of the spring, Duke Garwood opened with a short, bluesy set and I thought listening to him that the previously mooted Lanegan-Garwood collaboration project has the potential to be something very interesting and special.
I’m not sure if he was having a problem or two with his amplifier buzzing (he may have actually apologised for this at one point, but I couldn’t quite hear), but the set was enjoyable none-the-less.
After a break of half an hour or so, Dave Rosser and Mark Lanegan both made their way onto stage to great applause, with Mr Rosser picking up an electric guitar (which surprised me, as I was expecting another acoustic show), with the audience anticipating what was to come.
‘Field Song’ kicked off proceedings, and from the outset, it was clear that the acoustics lent themselves beautifully to helping project and amplify the voice of Mr Lanegan (which appeared excellent again, as it was on the previous acoustic show I went to).
The next few songs were also from the ‘Field Songs’ album, with an excellent version of ‘One Way Street’ followed by ‘No Easy Action’ and a beautiful version of ‘Miracle’.
A superb rendition of ‘I’ll Take Care of You’ followed, with Dave Rosser’s guitar effects producing an organ sound which not only complemented the rest of the music well, but felt very at-home in the church setting.
The first song of the night from the ‘Bubblegum’ album, ‘Like Little Willie John’ was next, and was greeted with loud applause, before ‘Field Songs’ was revisited with a superb ‘Don’t Forget Me’
Lanegan delved into his Screaming Trees catalogue next, with a performance of ‘Where The Twain Shall Meet, which has been performed often on the recent acoustic tour, but was a track which I felt really benefited from the electric guitar treatment, as did the next song, ‘Message To Mine’, which had great energy and was one of the highlights of the night for me, personally.
‘Mirrored’ followed, which is always
beautiful and delicately sung by Lanegan and was no exception here.
‘The River Rise’ was next and was again another example of Lanegan at his best. Then came ‘One Hundred Days’ which is possibly my favourite ‘Bubblegum’ song, and on which Dave Rosser proved excellent on providing the chorus backing vocals.
‘Hit The City’ came next, which obviously felt more suited to the electric nature of this set and was delivered to perfection, before the set closed with a haunting rendition of ‘On Jesus’ Program’.
The two men then left the stage, but after a short period of encouragement from the audience, they were soon back, delivering a wonderful version of ‘Traveler’ from the Screaming Trees final album, ‘Dust’.
There was the a visit to Lanegan’s first solo album with a version of ‘Wild Flowers’ which I felt was great on the acoustic tour but which seemed infused by an extra energy this time around.
To close the set out (and provide Screaming Trees fans with a real treat), the opener from the fantastic ‘Sweet Oblivion’ album, ‘Shadow of The Season’ was next.
Without a full band it was obviously a bit more stripped down than it appears on the album, but was no less excellent for this, with Lanegan seeming to put his all into some of chorus parts, which was simply spine-chilling.
Another ‘Trees’ song, ‘Dying Days’ followed, before the encore concluded with a majestic rendition of ‘Dust’ opener ‘Halo of Ashes’.
All-in-all, another superb show from Mark Lanegan (ably backed up once more by Dave Rosser) and the addition of some Screaming Trees tracks which hadn’t been played for some time was an additional bonus.
His upcoming ‘Hawk’ tour with Isobel
Campbell certainly has a lot to live up too, based on this evidence
(though on this kind of form, I wouldn’t bet against him being
able to pull that off).
review by Foz from his blog at 6
Days From Tomorrow (see blog for photos)
I honestly thought that I would struggle to write this one up. I mean, this is the 4th time I’d seen Mark and David during this tour, how could it possibly be different? By absolutely nailing down an incredible performance, that’s how.
The Union Chapel in Islington is a singularly wonderful venue. Being an actual church, it’s perfect for carrying sound around the entire room – a small speaker stack (which in itself wasn’t so much a stack as a small, neat pile) was more than sufficient to lift Mark’s voice around all of the assembled congregation.
The setting is stunning for a live music venue. Performances take place in front of the pulpit (this show’s Towel Table suspiciously taking the form of a font) and beneath a huge stained glass window with angels playing various instruments above the inscription which is something along the lines of “Play on your harps and make music for our God” (I wish I’d written it down now), certainly fitting for a show of this nature. It’s also surprisingly big – wooden pews fill up the whole of the main area, plus further seating up in the balconies. It may have the feel of an intimate show, but it can’t half pack them in.
One notable change in setup however came from David
Rosser’s setup. No acoustic guitars tonight, but an electric
one with a rather interesting trick up it’s sleeve…
The non-acoustic performance also gave whole new dimensions to some songs – Wild Flowers in particular given a whole new lease of life that lifted it far from The Winding Sheet’s isolated, understated original. Hit The City also took advantage of this plugged-in approach, although (as with the occasional Shelley-less Bubblegum shows of yore, compared to the times when she was there) the song does lack some of it’s punch without a feisty female vocal accompaniment.
The main set passed excitingly enough, with many notable highlights: Where the Twain Shall Meet, a Kinks-written Dave Berry cover in This Strange Effect and an utterly transcendent River Rise being the standouts for me. But it’s the encore that made the night all the more special. Screaming Trees favourites Dying Days, Shadow of the Season and Halo of Ashes appearing in quick succession and played at full pelt which made one forget that there was only two guys on stage. The latter song was especially breathtaking due to David taking the song’s sitar motif and turning it into a full-blooded middle-eastern drone. Incredible.
And of course, central to this all is the voice and performance of Mark Lanegan. Looking decidedly chipper tonight with plenty of surreptitious air-guitaring of the microphone stand and a more laid-back physical manner than usual, he put his vocal chords right through their paces. Soft and gentle during This Strange Effect, down to a whisper during the middle part of Screaming Trees oldie Where the Twain Shall Meet, right up to a roar during the encores. Mark’s voice is often lazily-described as being somewhat one-dimensional, dark and malevolent (“gravelly” tends to be the catch-all), but this doesn’t cover half of what he’s capable of doing with it.
Given that it’s only been two people on stage throughout this tour, it’s genuinely amazing at the depth and difference in each performance I have seen this year, and this show tops it all of wonderfully. Fully deserving of their standing ovation after the show, it was a brilliant performance in a wonderful arena. And I now have to be nice for the rest of the week by way of penance, as I swore rather loudly and excitedly as Halo started. Ah well, only a couple more days to go…
Special mention should also be given to support act Duke Garwood – less chatty than usual, choosing instead to rattle through his repertoire of hypnotically-interesting dark blues, his full-volumed guitar filling the church in a most eerie way, and getting a rapturous cheer from the crowd for his work.
review by Emilie
It is the first time I write a review in English for a gig, so please be indulgent with me as I’m French! For those of you who speak French, it’s better to read my French review, I gave the link on the forum.
So I live near Paris and desperately wanted to see a Mark solo show, not a Mark and Isobel show or Gutter Twins show or whatever. Not that I don’t like them (I’m going to the Café de la Danse gig this Saturday), but I wanted my first gig of him being a SOLO one. And when I want something, I want it, even if it was a stupid wish, as Mark is always Mark, never mind who is playing with him! Unfortunately, I realized only four months ago that I could afford the Eurostar to go to London, as Mark never goes to Paris for solo performances these days. I thought it was way more expensive. But it was too late for the Scala show which was sold out (thanks Cheekybee from the forum anyway to try and sell me a ticket a few days before). So you can imagine my happiness when I realized I could go to the Union Chapel instead! It was still difficult for me to go there alone (especially as I’m very shy), but hey, first time to London, first time to see Mark, and in a church!
So here I was, in front of the stage, third row. I liked Duke Garwood, not my kind of music, a bit boring, but I liked his performance nevertheless. I just can’t waited for Mark, and finally couldn’t believe it when he finally appears on stage. And the beginning with Field Song, it was the one I had in my head all day, such a sign! After that it was just a dream, a very short one unfortunately, but what a dream! I had the impression he was not in very good health, which is sad, but his voice definitely was great, especially in that church, and as Mark said himself, the décor was also perfect for the show. I must admit (what a shame) that I didn’t know well the Screaming Trees discography before that night, but I loved all the songs that were played. However, my preference goes to Don’t Forget Me. I love this song so much that, even if I knew it was always on the setlist, it was as if Mark and Dave played it just for us that night. Just for me. Awesome. Thinking about it, Dave is awesome too. I wasn’t at all prepared for an electric set, what a surprise, and a really cool one. Hit The City was so rock’n’roll. I’m a big QOTSA fan, but I didn’t even realize they didn’t play any QOTSA songs before my return to France, because the show was so perfect. I didn’t know Like Little Willie John was so popular, in fact in France Mark isn’t popular at all, people often listen to shit rather than music, so it was also a beautiful experience for me to go to a gig where everyone is really involved in the music and doesn’t talk all night to his neighbor. I will never, NEVER forget that night. Thanks so much to Mark and Dave, Duke, the audience, the staff which is so friendly…
To conclude, I’m very excited to see Mark again this Saturday, I doubt the show (without the church and that fantastic audience and above all the solo songs) will be at the same level, but I don’t mind as Mark will be there ;-)
So, I got my guestlist for the Mark Lanegan show in Dublin’s Academy tonight. Thanks to R: he knows who he is. And I decided to go. The show is not acoustic. It's Mark singing and Dave playing an electric guitar. A duo. Dave used the same guitar for the entire show. I taped it. Main set was roughly 45 minutes, plus a 20 minute or so encore. The encore mainly consisted of Trees songs: Hanging Tree, Traveller, Shadow of the Season, and they finished with the mighty Halo of Ashes.
s per Mark's usual MO, the stage was dimly lit; backlit with red lights, so you could barely see his face. But that's the way he prefers it. One song had a synthesized backing track-it didn't look like Dave was using a guitar pedal for it, but I may be wrong. Mark said 'thank you' a couple of times, but barely addressed the audience otherwise. The songs came fast, one after the other, no fucking around. The sound was amazing, and Mark is in fine voice.
What surprised me was that the Trees songs did not get a better reception than all the other songs. The crowd were wonderful, no talking, listening to every song, and sometimes applauding before the song was even finished. A crowd it was a pleasure to be part of. It's not often that occurs for me! Maybe a lot of the audience discovered Mark post-Trees, and that's why the Trees songs got the same warm, delighted reception as all of the other tunes (but not over and above the other tracks). I just figured, in my own head, that most Lanegan fans would have discovered him from the Trees. I guess he's done enough work with other artists and solo that he's cross-generational, and/or has fans willing to follow him down whatever paths he's willing to tread next. It's my own bias, so to speak. My copy of the show sounds amazing.
He’s selling a properly pressed (silver disc, and not CDR) live album called “Mark Lanegan Live at the Esplanade Hotel, Melbourne, Australia, June 8 2010. The cover is white and printed similar to an old vinyl bootleg. The cover is signed (I don’t need the autograph: I met him in Dublin in 2003 and got a Mark Lanegan promo postcard advertising Here Comes That Weird Chilled autographed while we chatted backstage that night), but this Melbourne live album does not come with a tracklisting on the rear sleeve or printed on the disc. Inserting into iTunes, the gracenote database has nothing on it, either. I don’t know how to submit to the database, so I guess I’m no help there.
I’ve now seen Mark with the Screaming Trees in
the mid-90’s in Australia at the Big Day Out, to seeing him
doing an electric gig with a backing band (who was also his support
act) in the Village in Dublin in 2003 to an electric gig with Dulli
as the Gutter Twins at Electric Picnic in Ireland in 2008, to seeing
the acoustic ‘Evening with Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli’
in the same Dublin venue as tonight at the start of last year, to
this ‘not-acoustic-but-quiet’ gig tonight. I think the
Trees show was amazing, but being I’m a Dulli fan, too, I loved
that “Evening With…” show. But the gig tonight was
beautiful; it just shined, the focus firmly on Mark’s whiskey-and-cigarette
soaked voiced, and relatively subtle guitar. Not much to SEE onstage,
but to use an extremely well-worn and boring journalistic stereotype,
the music really did do the talking.
Basically, the same as London with the omission
of Dying Days and the addition of Hangin' Tree. Personally, I'd have
preferred the former, but sure you can't have everything. What an
amazing show. Having listened to the Melbourne 'official bootleg',
I think having Dave play electric guitar opens the sound up a bit
and enables a wider selection of material without detracting from
review by Killian
from his blog at Sacred
Mark Lanegan has been spoiling his Irish fans, this was his second visit here in 4 months! I was sceptical about how different this show would be to the one in April, but I couldn’t let it pass without checking it out.
The gig was in the same venue as four months ago, but in the main area this time, which was just as well as the gig was jam packed. There were 2 support acts. The first was Jim McKee, a big haired northerner with a guitar and harmonica who was backed up by a girl playing an inaudible cello. He was somewhat unremarkable, not irritating, but not engaging. Ryan Sheridan followed, playing guitar with another guy playing a sort of ‘percussion’ box. There was great energy and enthusiasm on the stage, and the music wasn’t bad either, though he was let down by his ‘generic indie’ voice.
Anyway mainman Mark Lanegan came on stage soon after, with guitarist Dave Rosser, who replaced his acoustic guitar of 4 months ago with an electric. I’m not going to continue the hair motif, anyone else who was there can do that…
The early part of the set drew heavily on Field Songs, with I think 5 of the first 7 tracks coming from this album. Little Willie John was an early highlight, sung here in a lower, more understated style than the recorded version. As the gig went on it was hard not to fixate on Lanegan’s voice, sounding as powerful and as tuneful as ever, he really is in fine voice these days.
There were few major surprises, a Kinks cover sounded good but his own solo tracks really shone in this setting, especially One Hundred Days, a wonderful song, full of regret and a great big sad vocal.
They did quite a long encore, throwing in Screaming Trees tracks (Traveller, Shadow of the Season, Halo of Ashes) which left most of the audience bemused, and Queens of the Stone Age’s Hanging Tree, which got the best response of the night.
The faster tracks left part of me hankering for a heavier set up, drums, bass etc, though with just electric guitar Mark’s voice was given plenty of room to breathe. This was as good a Mark Lanegan gig as I’ve ever been to.