2009 Gutter Twins Performances
This poster was made by Stefan Freisem (“bachseele”)
thanks to Chris for sending the poster!
January 16, 2009 – Dublin Academy, Dublin
review by Al Byrne, http://misterhands.wordpress.com
Looking Up At The Stars
An Evening With Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan – The Academy, Dublin
Let the man who took a flash photograph of Greg Dulli during One Hundred Days burn in the fiery depths for all eternity. Not just for being rude and inconsiderate to a man who was giving everything us he had on that stage, but also because he seems to have been singularly responsible for cutting our encore short. As Dulli very directly warned that there was to be no more flash photography for the remainder of the gig, it was clear he had soured on the idea of continuing to play, and thus, after one final song, goodnights were said, and that was that. Camera-Boy is an utter cad.
What came before all of that, however, was utter perfection. I’ve seen Mark and Greg (and guitarist Dave Rosser) performing together under various guises a few times before, and although they were wonderful shows, each time, I felt they were struggling to be heard above the mix. Tonight, though, in a stripped down acoustic show, it was all about their voices, and what voices they are. Dulli’s, cracking and soaring at different times; Lanegan’s alternately sonorously deep and straining for high notes. With the bombast and volume of a regular rock show gone, the personality and dynamics of the songs were pushed to the fore, within the fairly tiny walls of the Academy.
Kicking off with a flurry of Gutter Twins material, things got interesting almost immediately – as the modified riff in God’s Children drew the song to a close, Lanegan took lead vocals for the first time to throw in a solitary verse of All Along The Watchtower. His slow drawl of “I can’t get no relief” provided a theme to the rest of the night, in some ways, as the songs moved between sheer desperation and glorious redemption with commendable subtlety. Highlights came quick and fast from there: We Have Met Before, with Dulli hammering out notes on a keyboard, became almost religious (and Dulli looked remarkably like Lucifer himself beneath the red stage lights, an embodiment of temptation to Lanegan’s tortured pleas); Resurrection Song, where Lanegan, visibly engaged with the music, rose into his less-renowned higher register to wonderful effect, again playing off Dulli’s counterpoint in a call and response chorus. The Twilite Kid offered a much-needed reprieve, its (relatively) unrestrained optimism culminating in a coda of all three men on stage repeating “hold on”. A special moment for me was The Lure Would Prove Too Much, as my girlfriend and I adopted it as “our song” back in 2007, and as far as I know, this was only its second live outing.
One thing this show had in spades was atmosphere – towards the start, in between songs, you could hear… well… nothing. The crowd, having sufficiently applauded the last song, quietened down to the point where the low hum of the PA was all that remained. Dulli, at this time still loving the crowd, told us with a knowing grin that we had in fact all missed the first four songs, and that they were great – and they wouldn’t be playing them again. At one point, as Lanegan leaned in to whisper something to Dulli, someone shouted out “Give him a kiss!” Amused, Dulli asked what was going on, to which Lanegan answered “We just kissed, apparently.” Dulli told us we should have seen what they had been doing backstage before the show. Someone shouted out a request for Sneakers (a joyful kids’ song Lanegan recorded, which had also been called for in Glasgow the night before), and Dulli wondered if it was going to be a running theme for the tour. “Not for me, it’s not,” Lanegan coolly replied.
More requests were made: Dulli would gladly play My Curse, but “the dude over here refused to learn it.” Why, Mr. Lanegan? “Too many words.” Dulli informed us that Lanegan wouldn’t even play Dollar Bill, which was met with a round of playful boos, so to compensate, Dulli told us he’d be happy to play it, or any other Screaming Trees song, after the show. “I’ll busk it.” After a little more playful banter, Dulli looked at Lanegan, and Lanegan calmly leaned into the microphone, and with the entire room at his fingertips, growled “Let’s just get it done.” It was the most playful I’ve ever seen Lanegan – or indeed, heard of him being – and it was genuinely brilliant to see that this really is just a group of friends playing music together, keeping each other safe and happy.
The general quietness of this show did allow for some spectacular exceptions. After the gentle harmonies of Kimiko’s Dream House, Dulli let loose with the old Afghan Whigs favourite, Summer’s Kiss. Two more subdued numbers later (the beautifully peaceful Sunrise, and unreleased Gutter Twins song – I think – Sunset Machine), and they kicked into a rollicking country cover, I Am In The Heavenly Way, with Dulli taking the opportunity to show off his somewhat limited skills on the harmonica.
After a very short intermission, Dulli and Rosser (who, despite being on-stage with two giants of alternative music, was a very big and active part of the show, allowing for some nice three-part harmonies) re-emerged. It was at this point things started to go downhill for artist-crowd relations. As Dulli leaned into the keyboard to start Candy Cane Crawl, some people insisted on conversing. Loudly. About the lack of Lanegan.
“Hey, are you guys done talking? Cos you can finish your conversation if you want. Or kissing, or whatever. You can do that out in the lobby. If you do that during my song, I’m gonna do this (opens his water bottle and rests it on the edge of the keyboard) and tip the entire thing over, and it’ll hit you in the f***ing head, okay? Go on, go out into the lobby, I’ll call you when Bubbles gets back on-stage.”
Okay, the Bubbles remark was absolutely hilarious, but you could tell Dulli was more than a little ticked. If it affected his performance of Candy Cane, however, it was for the better – while I never quite warmed to it on the Powder Burns album, it was utterly majestic here. Starting off slow and quiet, building into a powerful, violent crescendo, Dulli’s voice rising above the melee, Rosser’s plaintive backing vocals keeping it from boiling over into OTT-territory. It was one of those moments that you could never really capture on DVD or CD – it was about being in the room, the music washing over you, and echoing around you, and sharing in the awe-struck, jaw-dropping wonder that Dulli’s passion so effortlessly inspired.
Unfortunately, after Dulli called Lanegan back out to sing One Hundred Days (which was magnificent), Camera-Boy insisted on taking a photo with flash on during the chorus. Dulli threw a death-glare over in his general direction, and after the song had finished, he calmly but sternly stated his distaste for the rudeness. “You tell him, Dulli!” shouted a fan. “Shut up,” Dulli shot back. Oh dear.
A delicate version of All I Have To Do Is Dream, perhaps a nod to Dulli’s earlier referral to the Gutter Twins as “the satanic Everly Brothers”, closed the concert out. Despite the unpleasantness at the end, it was, by all accounts, an incredible evening. Despite the only instruments on stage being acoustic guitars and a keyboard, it never sounded samey, nor did it drift into the dreaded “singer-songwriter” sound. There’s a whole other think-piece to be gleaned from the difference between artists like the Gutter Twins doing an acoustic show and your average acoustic guitar-wielding songsmith doing something similar: suffice to say, the one key element separating them is attention to dynamics and drama. Lanegan and Dulli took us on journeys – rather than sharing their diaries and troubles with us, they shared a catharsis, inviting the crowd to witness the exorcising power music has over the personal demons their songs were borne of.
Ooh – and after the gig, I managed to get Dave Rosser’s autograph and thank him for an amazing performance, although in doing so, I appeared to be interrupting a reunion with an old friend. Whoops.
Candy Cane Crawl
January 16, 2009 – Dublin Academy, Dublin
review by Killian Laher, http://sacredcowpats.blogspot.com
When we bought tickets for this gig it was a Gutter Twins gig, but subsequently changed to an evening with Greg Dulli & Mark Lanegan. Arrived at the venue to find that it was an all seater gig. And all the seats were taken! Never mind, got a space at the bar. Mark and Greg came on early, just after 8.30. Greg alternated between guitar and keyboard, and they were joined by another guitarist. They began with 3 or 4 Gutter Twins songs, considerably reworked to suit the format of the gig. Greg was the more vocal but Mark did speak on occasion, notably when the somebody in the quite vocal crowd shouted ‘give him a kiss’, Greg said ‘did we kiss?’ and Mark replied ‘apparently’. Had never seen Mark sit down at a gig before, he didn’t really know what to do with his hands without a mike stand to hold!
As the gig progressed they played songs from each others’ back catalogues, mainly Twilight Singers and Lanegan solo tracks. Greg was goading Mark to play Screaming Trees songs, but it didn’t happen. None the less he covered tracks from Bubblegum, Field Songs, I’ll Take Care of you and even as far back as Whiskey for the Holy Ghost. They also played a couple of covers which I didn’t recognise, sounded like some old folk songs. Greg looks a little like Elvis in his Vegas period in terms of size.
After a short encore with 2 songs, then a cover of ‘All I have to do is dream’ they were gone by 9.55. A little short! Lanegan was in fine voice but I think this collaboration has run its course.
January 16, 2009 – Dublin Academy, Dublin
review by Albinorage
So, where do I start? The gig was amazing right up until the encore, God’s Children into Mark singing the first verse of All Along The Watchtower is exactly the kind of thing that is and will make these round of shows special. We Have Met Before is probably one of my fave GT songs and hearing it with just Mark’s voice (which sounds so much better when he’s not being drowned out by a live band), a guitar and Greg on keys makes the song that much more haunting. Then Creeping Coastline, which I don’t like on I’ll Take Care of You but I love the live version Mark and the band played on the Bubblegum tour. This rendition wasn’t as good as that one but it was still better than the album one. Resurrection Song was fantastic but I imagine they didn’t have to strip down the song very much . Next up was two Twilight Singers songs, The Twilite Kid and The Lure Would Prove Too Much and both worked great, especially The Twilite Kid. Kimiko’s got a big reaction and rightfully so, it was beautiful and I got a bit of a tear in my eye during it. Sunrise was an awesome surprise. The encore opened with Candy Cane Crawl and Greg completely owned that song. One Hundred Days! It was *I’ve ran out of words to use that mean awesome* and the harmonies with Greg were lovely. Last song of the night was All I Have To Do Is Dream which I thought was an odd ender (more on that later), I loved it but the two rather pretty girls beside me groaned at it. Doing songs like this and completely surprising the crowd is another reason why this tour is such a good idea.
I loved the banter at the gig as well, Mark seems to be really enjoying himself and his reaction the “SNEAKERS!” was great. I also have to say Dave was great last night and the triple harmonies were awesome.
I ended up not taking any pictures because I was scared in case the flash went of and I was dragged out of the building kicking and screaming but I did get to pay more attention to the show instead of taking pictures which was good. Even though “SNEAKERS!” was funny it gave people the idea to start shouting out songs they wanted, Mark and Greg took this well at first but it got bloody annoying and I got the feeling that they stopped talking in between songs because people would just shout out song names. I wasn’t too sure how to react to Greg telling of the talking girls, and he was right too but it was bit awkward from then on. Then there was that gimboid taking pictures with the flash and you could see Greg was getting pissed off and cut the encore’s last two songs. It seemed a bit of a cheat that we missed out on the last two songs due to a few people and I feel that Greg could’ve just had them thrown out instead of reacting the way he did.
I ended up with Dave’s setlist which is pretty much the same as Glasgow. Songs that weren’t played are striked through.
We Have Met Before
Hard Time Killing Floor
Creeping Coastline of Lights
The Twilite Kid
The Lure Would Prove Too Much
Kimiko’s Dream House
I Am In The Heavenly Way
Candy Cane Crawl
One Hundred Days
All I Have To Do Is Dream
I Get A Kick Out Of You
All in all it was well worth the trip down to Dublin and I wish I had’ve got tickets to the Galway show.
January 19, 2009 – Union Chapel, London
review by Foz
So, almost a year since the journey began, it begins to come to an end. And it’s fitting that probably the most triumphant night of Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan’s journey from Perdition to Redemption takes place in a church.
It’s impossible to start this review without first mentioning the surroundings – Union Chapel is an incredibly beautiful venue, with the performance area set directly in front of the pulpit. The acoustics (as one would expect from a place of worship) were beautiful, the architecture was complemented by some wonderful lighting (including lots of little tealights dotted around the balconies), and the cold (it was bloody freezing outside) audience were treated to proper mugs of tea. This all makes for a relaxed, yet expectant audience, and it truly has to be said that the people in the pews were just as much a reason for this show being so special as the three people on the stage.
And it began in disarming circumstances, with Greg, Mark and Dave appearing onstage in their coats, before mentioning that “y’know, we were thinking of maybe playing this outside”, then launching straight into The Body, showing immediately what a difference they can make to their songs when stripped down.
After that, it was revelation after revelation. Part of the fun with acoustic sets comes from wondering what they actually can bring across, and also from hearing the opening and trying to work out what was coming next – this worked supremely well about halfway through the set, when a vague riff suddenly became Summer’s Kiss’ iconic chimes. And as the set progressed, you could hear people whispering “Yesss!” as another favourite from the two artists’ back catalogues (sadly no Screaming Trees though) began, culminating in cheers and whistles as Sunrise began from a crowd becoming more and more appreciative with every song.
Of course, this is not just An Evening With Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan. Guitarist Dave Rosser deserves special mention for the part he plays in this, as his guitar work and vocal harmonising brought a whole new dimension to proceedings. And during the encore, he got his own – and well-deserved and received – place in the spotlight when he performed Stewart/King’s Tennessee Waltz during the encore.
This was sandwiched nicely between All I Have to Do is Dream, which brought the Satanic Everley Brothers nicely full-circle, and a cheeky rendition of I Get a Kick Out of You, with Greg doing the verse about cocaine which brought a grin from Mark and Dave, and laughter from the audience and Greg.
It’s hard to imagine anyone coming away from this show unmoved, and that includes the performers, who seemed genuinely surprised when they received a standing ovation and a huge roar at the end. But they deserved nothing less.
God’s Children/All Along the Watchtower
We Have Met Before
Creeping Coastline of Lights
The Twilite Kid
The Lure Would Prove Too Much
Kimiko’s Dream House
King Only/Babe I’m Gonna Leave You
Sunset Machine (unreleased original?)
I am in the Heavenly Way (Bukka White)
Candy Cane Crawl
One Hundred Days
All I Have to Do is Dream (Everly Brothers)
Tennessee Waltz (Stewart/King)
I Get a Kick Out of You (Cole Porter)
February 10, 2009 – Troubador, West Hollywood, CA
review by Todd: www.grungerockguru.com
February 10, 2009 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, CA will go down as one of the concerts where all who attended will count themselves lucky. The concert was billed as “An Evening with Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan”. They promised a stripped down acoustic setting featuring songs that neither of them have performed in years. It did not disappoint. In fact, it far exceeded my already high expectations. At this point I should point out that the opening act – Happy Chichester – was really good. Fans at the Troubadour were demanding that he play more songs when he finished his set.
After the opening act, chairs were set up and Greg Dulli, Mark Lanegan and Dave Rosser walked out. Dave and Greg, carrying guitars, Mark with his signature black shirt and disheveled hair. They started the evening with a couple Gutter Twins tunes – “The Body”, “All God’s Children”, and “The Stations”. They then moved to their extensive back catalogue. Greg first tore the house down with the Afghan Whigs tune “If I Were Going.” After he was done he said:
“Mark sees that and raises me”
Mark raised him indeed with an absolutely incredible rendition of the Screaming Trees classic “Sworn and Broken.”
Greg moved to the keyboard and they sang “We Have Met Before” from the Gutter Twins’ EP “Adorata.” Mark followed with a cover of “Creeping Coastline of Lights” and his own “Resurrection Song” I really wish I could say that the Troub was silent during the downbeats of these songs, but there was plenty of chatter. Way too much chatter for such a great concert. Now it was Greg’s turn and he threw in “The Twlilte Kid” and “The Lure Would Prove Too Much” in this seeming game of one-upmanship by the two artists that have reached “cult status,” but as Dulli pointed out:
“Cult status isn’t financially lucrative. Look at the cars we drive. Thank God for Europe”
It was Mark’s turn with “Kimiko’s Dream House”. Greg followed with “Summer’s Kiss” and “King Only”. Mark answered that call with “Sunrise” and “The River Rise” Both blew me away as I am a huge fan of the album “Whiskey for the Holy Ghost” from which both songs appear. The show ended with “Sunset Machine” and “In a Heavenly Way.” The latter song was absolutely incredible.
After a few minutes of applause they came out for an encore that included “Candy Cane Crawl” and “One Hundred Days” If there is anything that can make “One Hundred Days” better it was most definitely Petra Hayden’s violin. They also did “Tennessee Waltz”. Dave Rosser sang that song and whenever he releases a CD, I will be first in line ot get it. Amazing musician. They ended the show with “All I Have to Do is Dream” and Sinatra’s “I Get a Kick Out of You.”
Probably my favorite aspect of the show was the relaxed nature and the back and forth banter. They were putting themselves out there with the stripped down set and could not hide behind the rock, or pyro. It is something that is very rare in music today and something that is desperately needed. Instead of creating “bands” that music execs think will sell records nad hide their lack of talent behind studio tricks and pyro, why don’t they sign people with talent? The last time they did the record company made more money then they ever had before and they haven’t made that much since. Why doesn’t someone put 2 and 2 together?
July 11, 2009 – Cactus Festival, Bruges, Belguim
review by Borracha
First of all it was a horrible day (for a festival outdoors that is) cloudy, kind of cold and rain coming and going. Luckily it stopped a while before they started playing and remained that way the rest of the evening.
It was my first time seeing and hearing lanegan live (Foz, that was what I meant when I talked about my “debut”), I was shaking right before it started. I managed to get to the front row, right in the middle ;D I never though I would since i only started to make my way into the crowd when the previous band was finishing their set, I didn’t even have to try too hard and suddenly I was right up there!
Aghhhh…. I couldn’t wait for the damn thing to start already. As I was enjoying this lovely mood I noticed that the man setting up the stage and doing a mini-soundcheck was very similar to Dave Rosser, I was gonna ask you if he had a twin brother or something, it turns out it was himself as I realised when he came put to play!!!
Ok, to the music already! It was FUCKING GREAT!!!!!!, there’s no better way to put it down. The setlist was a bit short (they played for one hour, encore break included), no sunrise or the river rise both of which I was eagerly expecting (I got my share of them the next day) but they did play sworn and broken and dollar bill and resurrection song as you can hear above; if I where going for dulli’s fans, summer’s kiss and I don’t remember if it was the twilight kid or king only but one of those was played. No sunset machine or we have met before, the gutter’s songs where the usual three opening ones: the body, god’s children and the stations. The encore was just one song: I am in heavenly way. Sorry for the messy setlist, I don’t remember the exact order they where played, I’m leaving out creeping… and I might be forgetting one or two, someone post a proper one please!
I wasn’t sure how it was going to sound, being a festival, outdoors but it sounded really good, there was just a little awfull sound for a minute, on the loop thing during down the line (which was also played) but that was it, the rest of it sounded perfect.
What was missed here was the intimacy feeling you get in a smaller, indoor place but it was really nice to experience it both ways (coming up the paradiso review). People seemed to have enjoyed it too and I take it most of them weren’t dulli’s nor lanegan’s fans. I don’t know how to put it, there was kind of an upbeat feeling even if it was acoustic and all. Of course I was singing and dancing the whole time. I enjoy it more standing up… perverts comments aside.
The “artists” weren’t very chatty but they seemed to be enjoying themselves. Dulli said “muchas gracias” (literally, in spanish) after down the line but not much else than that and a thank you here and there, not a word from mister lanegan…
When they were playing summer’s kiss on the line “if you know the words, sing along whith me” dulli looked my way and smiled!!! (I think the girl next to me might have been singing along too but we’ll pretend she never existed and he smiled at me only).
July 12, 2009 – Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland
review by Borracha
As the day before, it was a grey rainy day in Amsterdam as well (but i wasn’t too worried about this time since it was an indoors location), only this time sun came out about an hour before the show started (dulli made a coment about it during the show, saying something like he wouldn’t have come out if he was us, he would have stayed outside enjoying the weather).
I tried to get there early cause I was in a guest’s list (my ticket never showed up on the mail) and i was kind of worried there might be a problem with that. Luckily, everything was ok, my name was there and since I got in early I was able to get a front row seat (almost the same spot I was the day before only this time I was seated).
I’m sorry but I don’t remember the names of the opening acts. I know the first one was the one that played in the previous tour (someon mentioned it here). He sang and played all mellow songs with an acoustic guitar, it was alright, it was quite short also. The other guy was Jimmy something, it was also just him singing and playing acoustic guitar but he was more up-beat, I liked him better not totally original but kind of nice. I though at times his voice sounded like Thom Yorke’s .
So, what matters now. This show was also incredible, quite different from the one they played on Cactus though they played all the same songs… and some more (martin eden, sunrise and the river rise -for my hearing pleasure- candy crane crawl and ??? help shoes!!!). The difference of location and audience (I’m not sure there much of us at the festival solely to see the gutter twins play) really made it seem they where to completly different (I can’t think of another word to say “different” right now) shows.
I have to say I prefer stand up venues as I can’t really sit still during the show, I keep moving, banging my head, tapping my feet and such (I call it “sit down dance” or “sit down mosh” depending on the music I’m listening to while I do it). Anyways, I must have been really annoying to my neighbors (sorry!) and not a very nice spectacle to see but luckily I san’t see myself under this circumstances. I was also, of course, singing along but I tried to be respectfull, keeping it down and not singing my lungs out.
So back to the show, it seemed to me a bit more mellow than the one of cactus, probably because the audience wasn’t as loud, didn’t clap along much either (only at dulli’s request). Dulli was much more talkative this time, even lanegan spoke a little (only to say “who’s smiling?” when someone form the audience pointed that out). After introducing dave rosser, dulli said -pointing at lanegan- that they’ve met 20 years ago, that he had heard and likes the screaming trees but he though lanegan was really something else when he started his solo career and that this song always got to him… and then they went on to play the river rise.
What else can I say? It was just perfect and I could even get a signed poster afterwards despite of shoes 😉
Oh, they played the whole setlist, I couldn’t get one (a couple of girls climbed on stage and got rosser’s and lanegan’s, I saw dulli’s but didn’t dare to go get it myself) but peaked at one after the show…