Tour: 2012

Mark Lanegan Live Appearances, 2012
Please scroll down for fan reviews

Blues Funeral Release Shows
February 7, 2012 New York City, NY – Bowery Ballroom
with Sean Wheeler & Zander Schloss
February 9, 2012 Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex
with The Legendary Duo

The Mark Lanegan Touring Band is:
Jean-Philippe De Gheest – Drums
Frederic Jacques – Bass
Steven Janssens – Guitar

Aldo Struyf – Keyboards,Guitar

Blues Funeral European Tour
city, country & venue
February 21, 2012 Paris, France – TV Appearance only review
February 24, 2012 TROMSO, NO – Aurora Rock review
February 25, 2012 OSLO, NO – Rockerfeller review
February 26, 2012 HELSINKI, FL – Circus
February 28, 2012
GRONINGEN, NL – Oosterpoort
February 29, 2012
AMSTERDAM, NL – Paradiso
March 1, 2012
EINDHOVEN, NL – Effenaar
March 2, 2012
March 3, 2012
March 4, 2012
BRISTOL, UK – Academy
March 5, 2012
MANCHESTER, UK – Academy 2
March 7, 2012
DUBLIN, IE – Academy
March 8, 2012
BELFAST, NI – Mandela Hall
March 9, 2012
March 10, 2012
LEEDS, UK – Cockpit
March 12, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, UK – Institute
March 13, 2012
LONDON, UK – Shepherds Bush Empire
March 14, 2012
COLOGNE, DE – Stollwerck
March 15, 2012
HAMBURG, DE – Gruenspan
signed setlist
March 17, 2012
March 18, 2012
BERLIN, DE – C- Club
March 19, 2012
WARSAW, PL – Proxima
signed setlist
March 20, 2012
PRAGUE, CZ – Lucerna Music Hall
March 22, 2012
VIENNA, AT – Arena
photos, signed setlist
March 23, 2012 ZURICH, CH – M4 Festival (Schiffbau)
March 24, 2012
BOLOGNA, IT – Estragon
March 25, 2012
MILAN, IT – Alcatraz
March 27, 2012
BILBAO, ES – Kafé Antzokia
March 28, 2012
SANTIAGO, ES – Sala Capitol
March 30, 2012
PORTO, PT – Hard Club
March 31, 2012
LISBON, PT – TMN ao Vivo
April 1, 2012
MADRID, ES – Sala Kapital
April 2, 2012
BARCELONA, ES – Sala Apolo
April 4, 2012 Thessaloniki, Greece – Principal Club
April 5, 2012 Athens, Greece – Fuzz Club
city & venue
April 9, 2012 Mexico City – Plaza Condesa
April 11, 2012 Buenos Aires – Samsung Studio review
April 12, 2012 Santiago – Amanda Club
April 14, 2012 Sao Paulo – Cine Joia
city & venue
FTC presale
on sale
April 18, 2012 Auckland – The Powerstation
16 Feb – 17 Feb
noon to noon
Monday, 20 Feb.
April 20, 2012 Sydney – The Hifi
16 Feb – 17 Feb
noon to noon
Monday, 20 Feb.
April 21, 2012 Brisbane – The Tivoli
16 Feb – 17 Feb
noon to noon
Monday, 20 Feb..
April 24, 2012 Adelaide – The Gov
16 Feb – 17 Feb
noon to noon
Monday, 20 Feb.
April 26, 2012 Melbourne – The Forum
16 Feb – 17 Feb
noon to noon
Monday, 20 Feb.
July 6 & 8, 2012 Ding Dong Lounge Melbourne Special shows to reopen the venue


city & venue
May 10, 2012 New York, New York – Webster Hall review
May 11, 2012 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club review
May 12, 2012 Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of the Living Arts review
May 13, 2012 Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club review
May 15, 2012 Toronto, ON, Canada – Mod Club signed setlist
May 16, 2012 Detroit, MI – Small’s review
May 17, 2012 Chicago, IL – Metro
May 18, 2012 Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Center
May 20, 2012 Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
May 22, 2012 Los Angeles, CA – Gene Autry Museum, Heritage Courtyard
May 23, 2012 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
May 25, 2012 Sasquatch Festival – George, WA
May 26, 2012 Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
May 31, 2012 Los Angeles, CA – Club Nokia – Music Cares MAP Benefit show
Sept 21 – 23 I’ll be Your Mirror, ATP Festival), Pier 36, NY, NY
Summer/Fall/Winter UK/ European Festival Dates
August 9, 2012 Way Out West Festival, Gothenburg, Sweden
August 11, 2012 La Route du Roc, St. Malo, France
August 13, 2012 GetGo Festival, Frankfurt, Germany
August 14, 2012 GetGo Festival, Munchen, Germany
August 16, 2012 Pukkelpop Festival, Belgium
August 17, 2012 Highfield Festival, Grosspoesna , Germany
August 18, 2012 OpenAirGampel, Switzerland
August 19, 2012 Lowlands Festival, Walibi, Holland
August 21, 2012 Princess Pavilion, Falmouth, UK
August 22, 2012 Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, UK review
August 24, 2012 Leeds Festival, UK
August 25, 2012 Rock en Seine Festival, France review
August 26, 2012 Reading Festival, UK
August 28, 2012 Garage, Aberdeen, UK
August 29, 2012 Picturehouse, Edinburgh, UK
August 31, 2012 Electric Picnic Festival, Ireland
September 1, 2012
End of the Road Festival, North Dorset, UK
September 2, 2012
A Perfect Day Festival, Verona, Italy
November 3, 2012 Dornbirn – Conrad Sohm
November 4, 2012 Stuttgart – Universum
November 5, 2012 Erlangen – E-Werk
November 6, 2012 Wroclaw – Firlej
November 7, 2012 Katowice – Club Hipnoza
November 9, 2012 Aarhus – Voxhall
November 10, 2012 Lund – Mejeriet
November 11, 2012 Stockholm – Göta Källare
November 13, 2012 Hannover – Musikzentrum signed setlist
November 15, 2012 Enschede – Crossing Border (Atak)
November 16, 2012 The Hague – Crossing Border (Nationaal Toneel main hall)
November 17, 2012 Rolling Stone Weekender – Weissenhaeuser Strand near Luebeck, Germany
November 18, 2012 Cirque Royale, Brussels, Belgium
November 20, 2012 Bratislava – Klub Za zrkadlom
November 21, 2012 Belgrade – Dom Omladine
November 22, 2012 Budapest – A38
November 24, 2012 Zagreb – NKC Park
November 25, 2012 Ljubljana – KS
November 26, 2012 Graz – PPC
November 27, 2012 Lausanne – Les Docks
November 29, 2012 Rome – Orion
November 30, 2012 Florence – Viper
December 1, 2012 Zurich – Abart (curfew at 10pm)
December 2, 2012 Heidelberg – Karlstorbahnhof
December 4, 2012 London – Forum review
December 5, 2012 Paris – Trabendo review
December 7, 2012 Madrid – Primavera Club (Matadero)
December 8, 2012 Barcelona – Primavera Club (St. Jordi Club)
December 10, 2012 Tel Aviv – Barby
December 11, 2012 Istanbul – Salon IKSV
Winter 2012
December 22, 2012 Lelystad, Netherlands – Underground
December 23, 2012 Kortrijk (Courtrai), Belgium – DeKreun

2012 Solo Shows
Jean-Philippe De Gheest – Drums
Frederic Jacques – Bass
Steven Janssens – Guitar
Aldo Struyf – Keyboards,Guitar

21st February 2012 Paris TV Show
By Smasher

With no date intially scheduled in Paris, french fans felt quite disappointed when all of a sudden, news of a TV show recorded in Paris to promote Blues Funeral began to spread.
Once the invitation-only gig was confirmed, the hard part began : getting one of the 120 tickets! After many delusions, I finally got a ticket through Mark’s french label.
Located in the suburbs of Paris (Studio 104 in La Plaine Saint-Denis), the stage set-up was quite different from a typical Lanegan set-up with many lights. We were said that the band would perform 7 songs, which usually means for this show 7 songs from the last album.
But after Sad Disco as a surprise opener, Mark launched into Sleep With Me hinting that the show could be more surprising than expected.
What had been surprising from the start was that the band was very tight, even though it was only their 3rd public performance together, the guitarist deserving a special mention for his Johnny Cash look and magnificent playing.
What was more surprising was that we were offered the first performance of Crawlspace from the Screaming Trees’ last recording, a truly great song.
The rest of the set consisted of solid performances of new tracks from Blues Funeral. No doubt that the DVD of this show will be a true gem for all the fans in the future.

Band :
Jean-Philippe De Gheest – Drums
Frederic Jacques – Bass
Steven Janssens – Guitar
Aldo Struyf – Keyboards,Guitar
24th February Tromso and 25th February Oslo
By Espen

My friend and I decided to do a “Lanegan-weekend” when we heard about the two shows in Norway. We travelled to Tromsø for the show on the 24th, and back to Oslo for the show on the 25th – sharing a plane with Lanegan, the band and CWTAB on our return trip.

The Tromsø show was a part of a festival called Aurora Rock; a tribute to the “Aurora Borealis”, I believe. The support acts were CWTAB (a great bunch of Belgian lads, who we met outside after the show. We told them we liked their music, and that we would be in Oslo the following day as well. They said they would play even better, since Tromsø was the drummer’s first show), swedish band Samling, and british band The Cubical. Mark was the headliner.

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen him live, but I’ve reached double figures – shows in Amsterdam and Barcelona included, when Norway wasn’t a part of his touring dates.

Opening day of the tour, and I detected a nervousness from the stage. A couple of mistakes were made, but my friend and I didn’t mind. We were over the moon; finally a solo-tour. Don’t get me wrong – I love the collaborative work he has been doing as well, but his solo work takes me to the places I want to go. He sings about things I want to hear about, and often says the things I want to say.

Song of the night: Quiver Syndrome.

After the show Mark signed Cd’s. I’ve met him on similar occasions twice before, and he actually recognized me! I was speachless. My friend asked Mark to play a different set-list in Oslo, and he did.

The Oslo show was a sell-out. No nervousness. Just loud, powerful, “in-your-face” magic.

Song of the night: Phantasmagoria Blues (I actually wept during this song. I’ve never heard such a beautiful song from a stage ever before, but music has never made me cry before. I’ve only read about it.)
When I told Mark about my “breakdown” afterwards, he simply replied: “Well, it’s not sappy.” So there you go…

I talked to a couple of the guys in CWTAB afterwards, and told them they actually played better this time around. I bought their Cd “Transylvania”, which by the way is a very good album.

1: Can´t Come Down
2: The Gravedigger’s Song
3: Bleeding Muddy Water
4: Sleep With Me
5: Hit the City
6: Resurrection Song
7: Harbourview Hospital
8: Quiver Syndrome
9: Creeping Coastline of Lights
10: Riot in My House
11: Ode to Sad Disco
12: Wish You Well
13: St. Louis Elegy
14: Methamphetamine Blues
15: Tiny Grain of Truth
16: When Your Number Isn’t Up
17: Crawlspace

1: When Your Number Isn’t Up
2: The Gravedigger’s Song
3: Bleeding Muddy Water
4: Sleep With Me
5: Hit the City
6: Wedding Dress
7: Resurrection Song
8: Crawlspace
9: Quiver Syndrome
10: Creeping Coastline of Lights
11: Riot in My House
12: Ode to Sad Disco
13: Wish You Well
14: Phantasmagoria Blues
15: Tiny Grain of Truth
16: Harbourview Hospital
17: One Hundred Days
18: Methamphetamine Blues

7 March 2012 Dublin Academy
By Killian

Mark Lanegan has made quite a habit of visiting these shores, this was his third visit in just over 2 years. We arrived to a packed-out Academy as the unidentified support band were in mid set. They had a grungy, repetitive groove, not by any means unpleasant but not so engaging either.

The main man appeared with full band in tow to a raucous reception. Lanegan didn’t merely plug his new album but reached back into his back catalogue covering tracks like Hit the City, Resurrection Song, and 100 Days, the latter being one of the strongest performances of the night.

As ever, Mark Lanegan kept his inner thoughts to himself and chose to let his songs and wonderful singing voice do the talking. His performance was somewhat subdued but it was the newer material that was arguably the high points of the night. Songs like The Gravedigger’s Song, St Louis Elegy and Bleeding Muddy Water overcame some predictable lyrics to blossom in a live setting.

It was not a life-altering experience but it wasn’t meant to be. Simply some fine songs performed well to a very appreciative crowd.

There are several reviews from the UK posted at Si’s 6 Days From Tomorrow blog. I am posting the link to his blog directly, because there is other info there that will be of interest to you as well. Trust me, go read the reviews:

24 March, 2012 Estragon, Bologna, Italy
by Bellblackocean

What a great show!!! even if with bass problem. by the way I was between stage and mixer and sound wasn’t so loud as back beyend mixer zone, the really problem with bass here was with songs like ode to sad disco or harborview hospital with many electronic bass put out from that mac at too much loud volume!!

HEY it was sold out!!! 1500 people to see Mark Lanegan and outside stands with unofficial tshirts to sell and aftershow Mark signin merchandise with 5 securitymen around him… what the fuck!! He’s starting to be a star here in Italy!!!!

the setlist:


25 March, 2012 Acatraz, Milan, Italy
by Fr at his blog:

31 March, 2012 TMN ao Vivo, Lisbon, Portugal
by magicdairyfairy

To start with, CWTAB played an absolute blinder. J-P on drums seemed to be in a comical mood, which added something to the entertainment factor too.

From the first note of When Your Number Isn’t Up to the last note of Methamphetamine Blues, Lanegan was on unbelievably stunning form. The sound (whilst apparently shite on stage) was perfect from where I was standing. Something, whether it was the lights up too high or the sound, had Lanegan seriously giving someone a hairy eyeball during the second song, even a “what the…?” comment. Scary! But his singing was amazing, the band were really tight and the setlist divine. Grey Goes Black was sped up a little and sounded great, the drums towards the end were fantastic. Leviathan! Brilliant! (and hats of to Mr Janssen on guitar especially during this song.) St Louis Elegy was, as usual, the aural equivalent of a perfect fuck. I am in awe. This was the best show I have ever seen in all my life.

Madrid (1st April 2012, Teatro Kapital) and Barcelona (2nd April 2012, Sala Apolo)
by Arthur

As Mark Lanegan had carefully avoided France on this first leg of the tour, the only option to see him was to go abroad. And Spain at the beginning of spring for two shows sounded like a great idea. And indeed it was.

In Madrid, Mark and his band played in Tatro Kapital, a venue often used by djs for techno parties, complete with podiums for gogo dancers etc…The venue in itself has 3 or 4 floors of balconies with a mixing desk located on the second floor, which probably caused sound issues for the people in the crowd who at times could not hear Mark.

But apart from this little issue which lasted for only the first few songs, it was great to find Mark backed with a great band (the guitarist in particular was both very entertaining and very skilled) to play songs from his latest effort as well as older songs. Mark himself seemed to be in great shape, eyes wide open and swinging with the rhythm, he seemed to enjoy the sound of the band during the instrumental breaks and was clearly touched by the way the audience cheered for an encore.

The crowd at the CD signing at the merch stand after the show proved how popular he is in Spain and how different Mark is from the previous tours, as he signs and smiles to everyone who chats with him.

In Barcelona the next day, the venue was way different, a long room with low balconies forming almost only a giant pit with a low stage which gave the impression that Mark was knee deep in the crowd. As a result Mark, who battled most of the show with a broken mic-stand, gave very powerful renditions of the most aggressive songs of the night (Riot in my House and Methamphetamine Blues in particular) and the band seemed to have a blast. Maybe as a result the setlist was expanded from the last night to add Leviathan, with great vocal harmonies from the guitarist.

It is worth noting that Mark’s voice is less prominent in the new songs, and more drowned in the instrumentation than it is for the rendenitions of old gems.

Setlists are :


1.The Gravedigger’s Song
2.Sleep With Me
3.Hit the City
4.Wedding Dress
5.One Way Street
6.Resurrection Song
7.Wish You Well
8.Gray Goes Black
9.Crawlspace Play
10.Quiver Syndrome
11.One Hundred Days
12.Creeping Coastline of Lights
13.Riot in My House
14.Ode to Sad Disco
15.St. Louis Elegy
16.Tiny Grain of Truth
18.Harborview Hospital
19.Methamphetamine Blues


0. Intro
1.The Gravedigger’s Song
2.Sleep With Me
3.Hit the City
4.Wedding Dress
5.One Way Street
6.Resurrection Song
7.Wish You Well
8.Gray Goes Black
10. Leviathan
11.Quiver Syndrome
12.One Hundred Days
13.Creeping Coastline of Lights
14.Riot in My House
15.Ode to Sad Disco
16.St. Louis Elegy
17.Tiny Grain of Truth
19.Harborview Hospital
20.Methamphetamine Blues

Buenos Aires, Samsung Studio, 11 April 2012
by borracha

It was the first time (and not the last, I hope) that I saw him with a whole band doing his solo stuff so you can imagine my expectations were quite high and, of course, the man lived up to them… great, great performance. I don’t remember the whole setlist but I guess it was more or less what he’s been playing the whole tour, mostly blues funeral songs a few from bubblegum and a very few from older records here and there (I think the oldest one performed was pendulum). I was hoping to listen to borracho live and of course he didn’t play it but it gives me something to wish for next time arround.
The crowd seemed to be very much into it, celebrating the older songs as soon as they heard the first cords played. It was probably mostly die hard fans as myself since it was a show played in the middle of the week wich is not the most usual thing international visits do in this country. Lanegan was as usual grabbed to the microphone as it was the last thing standing not very talkative (a few thank you’s here and there at least from what I could hear) but he seemed to be in a good mood too, I think he even smiled once! The band was great, the guitar player got most of the crowd applauses and I really liked the drumplayer also.
Now to the downpoints, first of all it was waaaay too short (exactly 1 hour and 15 minutes long, encore included). If he played for three hours it would still fell like a short time to me, I know and he could always have played this or that song that he didn’t play but I was expecting to get at least and hour and a half of live lanegan and he could have played a few more songs even if none of them were borracho…
Secondly, I missed the female backing vocals especially on hit the city and weeding dress. Actually there was hardly any backing vocal at all, I also missed the vocal layers on meth blues wich, by the way, was the very last song performed and left me begging for more…
Last but not least, I don’t really like the venue, the sound’s not very good there, his voice didn’t sound so clear (and I think is a thing form the sound at that venue, I could barely get the few thank you’s he said in between songs and I was standing right in the center, a few rows back from the front) and there’s a venue right arround the corner that sounds much better (where he actually played the first time round here).
Anyways, it always feel good to get some of the good old lanegan live, hope he makes it habit to come down here on every tour…
The Forum, Melbourne, Australia, 26 April 2012
by Astrololee

With shrill wolf whistles, a couple of “Hell Yeah’s” and much hand clapping Mark Lanegan’s Band walked casually onto the stage at The Forum Melbourne, with Mark sauntering in behind them a couple of seconds later as the first few notes of The Gravediggers Song erupted through the speakers and Mark, with piranha teeth, drawlingly started to sing, the crowd couldn’t have been happier erupting once again and equally grinning back with eyes all turned directly onto the dimly lit profile of a guy whom has come through even darker places. There would not have been one person at The Forum in Melbourne, whom did not know those first few notes and words to the song, which was remarkable as the Blues Funeral Album had only been released a couple of months earlier on February the 6th. Many like me whom have been waiting for this moment for weeks, were ready. Even speaking to others around me, it was apparent that we all have been playing this latest album non-stop, NO joke, this album has got to a lot of us, so much more than any other and I have to ask why?

Many answers of course come to mind but “each to their own” as I say because, what may attract me to Mark’s songs may not be the same thing that attracts others. I mean Mark doesn’t exactly wrap his arms around you however he is embracing, all encompassing and compelling, extremely easy to listen to and so you just get sucked into the vortex of his impassioned words and let them take you away to the places he has been. Standing right in front of the man at the barrier, you can feel him, TRUE, the experience of his world hits you in the face as you visualise much of his life through the picturesque story telling within the melancholic array of words, the musical score and the prowess of his very accomplished band. The lead Guitar work was incredible, powerful and mesmerising. Along with the disciplined Drumming, the heavy Bass added immense depth to each composition, so much more than hearing the songs from the CD! The electronic/techno Key work and the drum machine just lightened it all up enough to stop you from sinking totally into morbid depression or crying your eyes out if you believe that Mark has written verbatim about his life experiences and had the audacity to impart this all this into his songs!

“Ha” I hear you all say “crying your eyes out”, bullshit, WELL all I can say is, you all had better go back and really listen to “One Hundred Days”, oh this is song is so sad especially with the background keys adding to its sadness and I had to “WAIT” until half way through the set list just to hear it!! This song along with songs off “Bubblegum” such as “Hit The City” and “Wedding Dress” played very early in the set list that night, were rapturously received. However the night belonged to “Blues Funeral” with 8 songs being played with crowd favourites such as “Quiver Syndrome” and “Riot In My House”, I believe, getting the biggest response even before the encore. I especially looked forward to hearing “Ode To Sad Disco” waiting for the double drum beat to kick in at around 1.15 and I wasn’t disappointed. Sometimes when songs on a CD have as certain sound, you wonder if it can be recreated live and with the “Blues Funeral “ songs that night, they sounded so awesomely much better. The atmosphere along with the big sound of the instruments coming through the amps certainly spoke volumes for “live music is better” just like good old “Neil Young” has always said!

If like me you have been checking the set lists for this latest tour, you knew that Mark would also do the Screaming Trees song “Crawlspace”, sorry Mark, but I personally would have preferred to hear “Nearly Lost You” but who cares about that, only my thoughts and besides it would not have really fitted into the mood of Blues Funeral as that song could be considered light hearted in! The “Trains” cover of “Creeping Coastline Of Lights” was more acceptable as it is a very pretty song and must mean something to Mark as he continually included it on this tour. Once again personally, although I like this song, I would have thought Mark would have had enough songs of his own to replace this on his Melbourne set list, with either “Leviathan”, “Deep Black Vanishing Train”, “Driving Death Valley Blues” or heaven forbid even “Burning Jacobs Ladder”.

As Mark sung from the heart, impassioned song after song, continually counting down towards the inevitable end, it left me with the feeling that I did not want it to end so soon, how laconic this is, I thought! I mean “seriously” that night, I could have listed to Mark sing every song he’s ever written. Of course I had to accept the fact, as he walked off the stage for the first time; we were up to the encore stage, “NO”! I wondered just how long the band would string us all out before they came back out onto the stage. I was almost in shock but really delighted when only a few minutes had elapsed before they re-appeared going straight into “Bleeding Muddy Water”. Good choice and another crowd favourite with everyone singing along, then onto “Pendulum”, another song of Mark’s which includes his significant obsession with “Jesus”. Next, “Harborview Hospital” was outstanding, a real highlight. I am glad Mark left this song to near the end of the encore to receive the fullest praise from the crowd, which it deserved. Sadly then the heightened sharp notes and drum strokes started up along with the menacing intro of laughter, to signify the beginning of “Methamphetamine Blues” and the end of the night. Everyone sang, hollered, whistled and cheered throughout the rendition which has been a popular tune for Mark since 2003 from the “Here Comes That Weird Chill” album because he repeated it on the “Bubblegum” album in 2004. The last song finished all too soon and Mark quickly departed the stage with thunderous applause and calls of “More” being loudly expressed and I couldn’t have agreed any less!

As the lights in the auditorium came up, the crowd were invited to bring their purchases of memorabilia to the signing table for Mark to personalise. I had taken my own CD in and others I saw had their vinyls in hand. I estimated there were about 200 people waiting however the line moved quickly enough, even though Mark spoke to everyone briefly and shook hands with most. How generous was he of his time to his fans, it certainly earned my respect, especially after giving his all for 1 ½ hours singing. To casually sit there and smile and interact with us all was so amazing, considering he was probably stuffed, however he looked so fresh and so alive and I personally and silently thanked “Jesus” that Mark is still here on earth with us, even though “Jesus” is not my religion, only music is! Mark thanks for being so “AWESOME” and thanks for giving us all a very memorable night.

Click the link for the set list which I uploaded. One of the “Roadie’s” gave me a copy from under the keys, which later Mark signed.

2012 Mark Lanegan Band- New York at Webster Hall May 10, Washington DC at the 9:30 Club May 11, Philadelphia at the Theater of Living Arts (TLA) Sat May 12 and Boston at the Paradise Rock Club Sun May 13.
By Anon Concrete See pictures in images
Monday. May 14th 2012 Boston. 6:30am. I kind of have a headache. It was definitely the Jack Daniels last night. I only had one. After a Sweet Revenge Lemonade (a vodka drink) in the Sunset Cantina- a block down. I’d gotten to the venue early. I asked the bouncer at the door “What time does the opening act go on?” “Eight.” “Is there a place to get a drink, other than the place right next door?” and a couple of beers . . .
But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’m a fan of Mark Lanegan’s music. And I’m greedy. So I went to four Mark Lanegan Band shows: New York at Webster Hall Thurs May 10, Washington DC at the 9:30 Club Fri May 11, Philadelphia at the Theater of Living Arts (TLA) Sat May 12 and Boston at the Paradise Rock Club Sun May 13.

New York: On Thursday in New York, I had a kickball game to lose and a post-game beer to drink so I ended up not getting to the show until the last 2 or 3 songs of the main set. Oops. And I was in the bathroom changing when Pendulum- a favorite of mine- came on. That put me in the awkward position of: do I run out half naked to watch the show? Or remain here in a bathroom stall, listening to the song, while finishing changing into my long pants? Sense and propriety won out.

I emerged from the bathroom, got a beer and proceeded to make my way to the bathed-in-red-lights stage. The back wall had little round light bulbs all over it. Odd. I don’t know what they played next because I don’t remember and I didn’t take notes. I just stood there, enjoying it, taking it all in, knowing that I had three more shows to concern myself with getting there on time. The band closed with a killer version of Methamphetamine Blues. When the encore was over, Aldo Struyf, keyboard and guitarist, announced, ‘In a few minutes Mark will be signing at the merch table so stick around.’ Heck yes I’ll stick around to get something signed.

In line I got talking to a very nice woman who’s been a grunge music fan since before back in the day. She lived in Seattle from 1988, before the town registered on the global radar, to 2000. Turned out we’d been to a number of the same concerts. Gutter Twins, Soulsavers, with Isobel Campbell . . . She’d also been to a number that I hadn’t- Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers . . . Head of the line, I slap down a Mark Lanegan Band/ Amsterdam Leap Year/ February 29, 2012 live cd for signing. I took a sip a beer and looked around at the place. To my slow realization, Mr. Lanegan was sitting there waiting for me to tell him my name. A personalized CD? I expected him to just sign, as he’d done at the February show. Excellent!- this was more than I expected!

Comparing the tail end of this show and the three ensuing shows with the New York show in February: The February show had a few jammy moments. A few parts of songs had me thinking of throwback to 70s rock, and the band kind of spaced out from how the songs sounded on the CD {disclaimer: I’m completely unqualified to attempt to discuss the structure of music}. These May shows, the songs were tighter. Nothing led my mind to think jammy, throwback 70s rock. The band must have gotten used to playing these songs over the past few months.

Washington DC: I was excited to go to the 9:30 Club in DC. I’ve seen the name of this club for years as it’s often the DC stop of bands before or after they’ve played in New York. I’ll arrive in plenty of time. Catch the openers. Settle in. Enjoy the show . . . I won’t repeat the New York late mistake again. DC doors at 6. That makes openers at 7 and main at 8, right? I’ll get there 7:30ish. . . (I still have two more shows to be there before the opening act takes to the stage.) 6:48, a call to the venue to check the times. “Opening act at 6:30. Main at 7:15. It’s an early show.” D’oh! Cab ride it is.
815 V St. N. W. 9:30 Club. The venue is not dissimilar from TLA in Philly or Bowery Ballroom in NYC. Walk in and there’s a big open floor with the stage at the far end. Go upstairs to the balcony level for a bird’s eye view. I make my way towards the front and third row standings. The section immediately in front of the stage was cordoned off and a few men with cameras were crouching around in there. The concert is being filmed? Mark Lanegan Band took to the stage at 7:28pm.

There wasn’t too much variation among the four concerts. Shows were bathed in red light. (Perhaps Lanegan feels the shade adds to his devilish persona: Tired of being devilish. Sick of being wicked. Habitual. And untrue. On the Steps of the Cathedral.) Lanegan doesn’t speak much except to say “thank you”, “thanks for coming”, “we appreciate it” and to introduce the band. The Philly show was short. The guitar player stopped jumping around so much by Boston. Also, Lanegan didn’t introduce the band members in Boston. T shirts were selling out by Philly and sold out by Boston (. . . maybe they didn’t sell out, I’m not sure, but I don’t remember seeing them hanging up for sale.)
Of the setlist, a total of 21 songs were played at all four shows. The song listing was the exact same in Boston and New York. The DC show, other than a change up in the first three songs and the omission of Pendulum in the encore, was the same song listing as Boston and New York. And DC played Bleeding Muddy Water, which wasn’t played in the other three shows. The Philly show was cut short, coming in at 14 songs where the other three were 19 songs long. Missing from Philadelphia included: Crawlspace, Quiver Syndrome and Black Rose Way.

Songs were drawn predominantly from Blues Funeral (indeed all but three of the albums 12 tracks were played, those missing three: Phantasmagoria Blues, Leviathan, Deep Black Vanishing Train); followed by Bubblegum (When Your Number Isn’t Up, Hit the City, Wedding Dress, One Hundred Days and Methamphetamine Blues); a couple from Field Songs (One Way Street and Resurrection Song); a couple from the recently released, 1998-1999 recorded Screaming Trees Last Words: The Final Recordings (Crawlspace and Black Rose Way); one from Here Comes that Weird Chill (Sleep With Me, we could double count Methamphetamine Blues); one from the covers album I’ll Take Care of You (Creeping Coastline of Lights); and one from Whiskey for the Holy Ghost (Pendulum).

At the end of all four shows, Aldo stood up from the keyboard and announced, ‘in a few minutes Mark will be signing at the merch table so stick around.’

The DC show opened with When You’re Number Isn’t Up. That set it apart from the other three, which all opened with The Gravedigger’s Song. When You’re Number Isn’t Up. Ah, another fave. There was a stretch of time- about 10 months- when, every Sunday, I picked up my nephew after Sunday School and brought him to church. Required instruction for him to make his First Holy Communion. As godparent it is part of my god duties to lead the child towards god. That and be obliged to “Let’s run!” whenever he wants. On the walk to church each Sunday morning, I listened to When Your Number Isn’t Up. It did a better job of making me think of my own mortality and that maybe I should make some changes, than anything a priest ever had to say. That walk to church to meet my nephew took about 13 minutes. It was roughly the first 4 songs of the Bubblegum album- When You’re Number Isn’t Up, Hit the City, Wedding Dress, Methamphetamine Blues- Sundays, for 10 months. The show closed with another killer Methamphetamine Blues. I got a t-shirt and left.

Philadelphia: The next day I was landing in Philadelphia early enough to meet up with a college chum for an early dinner. From then, it’d still be early enough so that I’d have no excuse for missing the openers. Having gone to college outside of this town, I’ve been to TLA before. My plan is to go upstairs for a bird’s eye view. However, at the foot of the stairs I’m met with an employee, “VIP only.” “I think I’m VIP.” Good enough? Not good enough. The main floor it is. A pit stop in the toilets and -darn it- I hear music! No time to wash my hands, the opening band is taking the stage! I hustle out. (Note, I returned in the fourth song to wash my hands.)

The openers: I was looking forward to perhaps seeing the Belgium band play as the openers; rock out to a rock band. They opened in Europe. I was interested to see the stage presence of the man who named the band for a Roky Erickson’s song title, which in turn was named for a 1950’s B-movie. Creature With the Atom Brain. What a horrible name for a band. Primarily because it’s not recognizable as a band name. An equally unrecognizable album name as their debut: I Am the Golden Gate Bridge.

However, back in the states it’s Sean and Zander opening, same as at the Feb NY & LA shows. Sean and Zander have an endearing on-stage banter, that sometimes has Sean (Wheeler) dabbing the brow of his musical counterpart, Zander (Schloss), while Zander’s hands are occupied with a guitar. There are a couple of very special songs in their set, including Song About Songs. A song that deserves to be declared a national treasure. Zander brings out his bouzouki and strums and sings, . . . before I leave this world, I hope you find/ a song that loves you for all time/ that song, saves your life . . .; Wheeler joins in singing towards to end.

They sometimes close with Spiritual, as they did in Boston the next night and the NY show in Feb. Another special song. I had first heard it when Mr. Lanegan sang it with Soulsavers at the Blender Theatre (now renamed the Gramercy Theatre since Blender magazine is defunct) in NY 2007. At that point I’d only heard the Bubblegum album. There was no god on the Bubblegum album. So when the ungodly singer of the Bubblegum album opened his mouth and started singing Jesus I don’t want to die alone/ My love was untrue/ And now all I have is you I was certain it was blasphemy. I was pretty sure lightening was going to strike and moved away from the stage. If lightening did strike, I didn’t want to get hit.

A pause in the show. Sean asks, ‘What song should we do? Any requests?’
“Jim Morrison” someone yells. Some reference? It doesn’t make sense to me. Apparently it’s not a reference and doesn’t make sense to the band either. “He’s dead”, says Sean. “… the bloated Jim Morrison? . . .” they proceed with the show.

At TLA in Philly, consumers of alcohol were cordoned off to the bar area as it was an all ages show. Fine with me. I perched atop a bar stool against the east wall and watched the show. A minor glitch to the evening: I was standing at the bar waiting to be served when the Mark Lanegan Band came on. I would have been back at my bar stool except the bartender decided to s-l-o-w-l-y fill the cocktail waitresses order before taking mine. NOOOOO! Minor thing.
They opened with The Gravedigger’s Song. They closed with Methamphetamine Blues, preceded by Harborview Hospital. When the show was over I asked the guy sitting beside me, “What’d you think?” He and his girlfriend (or wife?) were big music fans, just having come back from Coachella and already talking about getting their tickets for the Greg Dulli-curated Ashbury Park All Tomorrow’s Parties.

“What’d you think?” He looked like he just sucked on a lemon, “the guitar player was way off. He sounded like he was playing different songs.” Hmpff. Really? I didn’t agree. I thought the guitar player added something to the songs that wasn’t strictly in the script of the album. A bluesy, somewhat inspired touch. Steven Janssens. He had his hair combed back in a style reminiscent of Johnny Cash. Jumping around with his thin legs, he looked ready to dance. Indeed, he was the only one that moved much on stage. I did think some of the keyboard notes stuck out (more cowbell!) and were distracting, rather than blending into the songs. Other than that, I liked it all fine. And well, even including that. I appreciated it all.

While sitting on the sidelines in Philly, I noticed something odd. Whenever I looked at the band through my camera to take a picture, the singer was blacked out. I don’t know why. Maybe because there was no light shining directly on Mr. Lanegan? I don’t know. But it makes for this voice, this singing, to come from a black spot- a void- on stage. Disconcerting. Eerie. Amid the red lights, the void of black. And that’s where the singing is coming from.
Boston: The band travels in a big yellow tour bus. It was parked outside the Paradise Rock Club. I got to the place early- 7:30. The bouncer says the opener goes on at 8, so I had time to walk down the block to the Sunset Cantina, collect my thoughts and suck down a Sweet Revenge Lemonade. 7:58, time to go to the show.

A fairly decent size crowd was already there for the opening band. Well kempt college kids. Sean and Zoolander took to the stage. There was some banter with the audience about movies on VHS that were ?in a local (college?) library collection . . . ? Soundtrack work that Zander had done . . . ? I didn’t hear all that they were saying and it was a reference that I didn’t get.

They played their set. Sean dabbed Zander’s brow. Towards the end Sean spoke of his mother. It was, after all, Mother’s Day. ‘She’s a saint without even trying to be.’ They closed with Spiritual. A trumpet player from the Boston area joined them. I flinched when I saw the trumpet but it turned out to not be that loud and didn’t overpower the song as I feared it would.

Mark Lanegan Band took to the stage and, bathed in red light, launched into Gravedigger’s Song.
Mark Lanegan is stoic. He takes to the microphone with a level of gravitas; it makes the audience appreciate that they’re here for something important, not flippant. These songs are serious matters. “Assume the position” insofar as Mark Lanegan’s stage presence is concerned means left hand on mic (the one with the cross), right hand on stand (the one with the Native Indian looking tattoo)*, stand up tall and pretty straight, with the left foot and leg slightly out front. Sometimes he pulls his head back from the mic as if it’s a snake in recoil about to bite him. Ya know, of the hand with the cross on it: hold the hand one way and you’re fighting for Jesus, hold it another way and you’re fighting for Satan. Which is it? Jesus, Satan, Jesus, Satan. Always keep ‘em guessing . . .

Methamphetamine Blues must be a favorite, he sings it so often. One wonders if it is a statement of existence at a given point in time. Written, when? Circa 2003 . . . ? Released in 2003 on Weird Chill then in 2004 on Bubblegum. An antithesis “John lawman rides/ With his uniform clean, shine on his shoes” and the existence “My radio plays/ Methamphetamine blues/ Until I lose/ I’m rolling just to keep on rolling”

The band has a similar serious demeanor. Save for the grasshopper guitarist, all pretty stood still on stage. Albeit Aldo alternated between standing with the guitar and sitting at the keyboard or sometimes with the guitar in his lap, playing slide. He has quite a serious stage persona; it is one of dedication, hovering over a keyboard or guitar, intently plucking keys or strings. No smirks, no smiles, no distractions. He doesn’t acknowledge the audience at all. Except at the end to tell people, “Mark will be signing . . “ The bass player, Frederic Jacques, seems to have girl part duties on Meth Blues, “I’ll do it daddy.” Hey, somebody has to sing it. Jean-Philippe De Gheest on drums rounds out the band.
At the end of the Boston show I snagged the set list. There was a guy standing to my left that looked rabid. I’d been sizing him up, fairly certain that I might have to deploy an elbow to fend him off. Indeed he went for the set list a half second before me but relented without much of any fight. And what’s this?, while I’m pulling the set list off the stage- a full bottle of Poland Spring? Mark Lanegan’s water- I snagged that too. I stood in line and got the set list signed. Along with a copy of Blues Funeral for my sister. It was, after all, Mother’s Day. With a floral cover, the album would make a fitting Mother’s Day present. What will I do with that water bottle? Why put it on the shelf beside my Mark Lanegan bobblehead of course.

Boston setlist note: Bleeding Muddy Water is crossed out from the encore.

*Did my head in trying to pin down which hand is up on the mic- the left, no the right, no the left, and which is out on the stand. Kept thinking I kept getting it wrong, then I realized: it’s not always the same hand up and the same hand out. Does seem to lately most always be the left hand up on the mic.
-Anon Concrete 6/18/2012

Boston (and New York) Setlist:
1. The Gravedigger’s Song
2. Sleep With Me
3. Hit the City
4. Wedding Dress
5. One Way Street
6. Resurrection Song
7. Grey Goes Black
8. Crawlspace
9. Quiver Syndrome
10. One Hundred Days
11. Creeping Coastline of Lights
12. Black Rose Way
13. Riot in My House
14. Ode to Sad Disco
15. St Louis Elegy
16. Tiny Grain of Truth
17. Pendulum
18. Harborview Hospital
19. Methamphetamine Blues

Hamtramck MI, Small’s Bar, 16 May 2012
by Cole Water for Pop Matters

In an aural dictionary, Mark Lanegan’s voice would reverberate out in equal measure as the definitions of “desolation” and “solace”. Occupying the netherworld between such disparate realms has always been Lanegan’s forte, one which he unfurled with all manner of weird chills and dark rumblings at his May 16 show in Hamtramck, Michigan. It’s been a long time coming, being his first stop in the Detroit area in a decade.

Murmurs and palatable anticipation occupied the sold-out crowd gathered in Small’s Bar—if ever there was a more appropriate name for a venue, I’ve not heard it—before Lanegan silently mounted the stage with his four-member band and launched into the throbbing fuzz of “The Gravedigger’s Song” from new album Blues Funeral. Throughout the next hour-and-a-half, Lanegan cranked out a nineteen song setlist, only pausing to thank the audience and introduce his bandmates. And yet, the crowd was enthralled by Lanegan’s now archetypical stage persona—clad entirely in black, gripping the mic stand with the same tenacity as the Grim Reaper clings to his scythe. Apart from his tattooed fingers tapping and his bushy-topped head nodding to the beat, the singer let his voice do the talking. In displaying such minimalism, Lanegan proved the adage that you get more attention with a whisper than a shout.

Wincing at the endless barrage of camera phone flashes assaulting his eyes, Lanegan treated fans to a litany of detox elegies and ruminations on mortality and resurrection, alternating between down-tempo dirges and ramshackle rockers. The stagnant, humid air and low lights fashioned the ideal atmosphere, with the bar’s natural acoustics perfectly suited for conveying the nuances of Lanegan’s impossibly low vocals. As the venue was formerly a bank built in 1923, how fitting is it to have such sepulchral intonations billowing out from a former vault?

In reading about the man, you’re hard-pressed to find any write-up that doesn’t go with the by-numbers descriptions of his distinctive baritone—gravely, whiskey-soaked, nicotine-scarred, etc. For my money, his voice has always sounded like the taste of a full-bodied merlot, warm, rich and intoxicating. From serrated bellow to sultry croon, every facet of Lanegan’s instrument was on display.

On “Sleep with Me”, Lanegan howled with all the seductive menace of a sex-starved devil, attempting to lure a young virgin to comfort him in his pit. With the morbid “Wedding Dress”, a venomous bassline slithered beneath Lanegan’s voice as he questioned how far love is truly willing to go—“Will you be shamed if I shake like I’m dying? / When I fall to my knees and I’m dying? / Will you visit me where my body rests? / Will you put on that long, white dress?”. But rather than slinking off as in its studio version, in the live setting, the song erupted into a cacophonous uproar as soon as Lanegan delivered his closing lines, the instrumentalists competing with one another for dominance as their frontman stood as the eye of the hurricane.

The autumnal “One Way Street” arrived as the chaos petered out. Possibly the purest distillation of Lanegan’s recurring themes (“When I’m dressed in white, send roses to me / I drink so much sour whiskey I can hardly see”), the song is the sound of loneliness, evoking images of dead leaves blowing through a ghost town’s old main drag. The sentiment was echoed in the coming-down narrative “One Hundred Days”, a visit to a dilapidated port of call. “From my fingertips / This cigarette throws ashes to the ground / I’d stop to talk to the girls who work this street / But I got business farther down”, Lanegan sang, testing the resistance to temptation while waxing nostalgic for the days of depravity gone by.

Nearly all of the night’s songs hailed from Lanegan’s solo work, the majority from his last few rock- and electronic-influenced records, with a few of his acoustic folk-blues numbers peppering throughout. If you came to hear Gutter Twins, Soulsavers, Isobel Campbell or Queens of the Stone Age numbers, you left disappointed. That being said, it’s unlikely any Lanegan devotees expected anything of the kind. Seemingly borne of their leader’s desire to invert expectations, the band dusted off two deep cuts from Lanegan’s first group, the Screaming Trees, whom he frequently disparages in interviews. Both of those songs, the brooding “Crawlspace” and the more straight ahead rocking “Black Rose Way”, were recorded for the Trees’ lost album, which only officially saw the light of day in 2011 in the form of the aptly titled Last Words. How more obscure can you get?

Of course, a highlight of any show where an artist’s new music is performed is gaining new insight or appreciation for those songs you’ve yet to fully develop an opinion of. Among the best representations from Lanegan’s new album were the Joy Division-esque “Gray Goes Black” and “Ode to Sad Disco”. The former’s fluttering guitar parts between verses flickered like streetlights over a late night getaway, while the latter—inarguably the oddest song in Lanegan’s oeuvre—had attendees shambling on the floor like the undead to the pulsating rhythm and industrial drums.

The four song encore featured the oldest song of the set, older than even the Trees numbers, in “Pendulum”, from 1994’s Whiskey for the Holy Ghost. No one pulls off world-weary better than Lanegan, and never has he done so more convincingly in the song’s dustbowl fatalism. “Swing pendulum, swing low / Got no place to call my own / Oh my Lord, don’t you bother me / I’m as tired as a man can be”, Lanegan moaned above the desert-sweeping guitars, no trace of artifice to be found. To close the show, Lanegan conjured the clanging paranoia of “Methamphetamine Blues”, a song which is only rivaled by the Velvet Underground’s “Heroin” in its authentic representation of a drug-addled mind spitting in the face of death.

Following the performance, Lanegan again flouted his perception of an intimidating, standoffish ogre by inviting attendees to visit him at the merch booth. He patiently shook hands, signed LPs and took pictures with his fans, speaking softly and looking them directly in the eyes when answering their questions. (This being my second time meeting the man, I wasn’t quite reduced to a giddy schoolgirl, though the photo I took with him seems to indicate otherwise.) It was the perfect capstone for a night of funerary blues and dead slow rock ‘n’ roll, stretched like bubblegum.

1) The Gravedigger’s Song (Blues Funeral)
2) Sleep With Me (Here Comes That Weird Chill EP)
3) Hit the City (Bubblegum)
4) Wedding Dress (Bubblegum)
5) One Way Street (Field Songs)
6) Gray Goes Black (Blues Funeral)
7) Crawlspace (Screaming Trees’ Last Words)
8) Quiver Syndrome (Blues Funeral)
9) One Hundred Days (Bubblegum)
10) Creeping Coastline of Lights (Leaving Trains cover, I’ll Take Care of You)
11) Black Rose Way (Screaming Trees’ Last Words)
12) Riot in My House (Blues Funeral)
13) Ode to Sad Disco (Blues Funeral)
14) St. Louis Elegy (Blues Funeral)
15) Tiny Grain of Truth (Blues Funeral)
16) Wish You Well (Here Comes That Weird Chill EP)
17) Pendulum (Whiskey For the Holy Ghost)
18) Harborview Hospital (Blues Funeral)
19) Methamphetamine Blues (Bubblegum)
Wolverhampton, UK, Wolfrun Hall , 22 August 2012
by Si for 6 Days From Tomorrow

Weeks off work tend to be the busiest times, don’t they? After an unexpectedly long walk home from being dumped in slightly the wrong county after Sunday’s Afghan Whigs show, I find myself off down the M6 to a city I’ve been through before but never actually to, in order to see Mark Lanegan and his band yet again, in the company of friends. I should point out that I ran into a couple of these friends in London on Sunday, with only enough time for the briefest of pleasantries and a mutually unsurprised “see you on Wednesday” as if people from cities at either end of the country meeting somewhere in the middle on a weekday evening was completely normal behaviour. I’m rather glad to say that, as far as myself and my friends are concerned, it kind of is.

There’s something ever so slightly cheeky about Belgium’s Creature With The Atom Brain, once again the very welcome opening act for Mark. there’s probably rules and etiquette regarding What Support Acts Are Supposed To Do, and Aldo Struyf’s band happily (for both them and us) don’t bother with any of that and instead launch into huge psychedelic instrumental passages whenever the mood takes them. Playing a similar set to shows from earlier this year (although I’m thinking that Spinnin’ The Black Hole from their Transylvania is a fairly recent addition to previous sets I’ve witnessed, and it was a pleasure to hear it here), they were once more unwinding, spacey and entertaining, the early crowd in this not-quite-filled hall enjoying them hugely.

After the customary “unscrew most of the lightbulbs” pause in proceedings, Mark Lanegan took the stage and the band launched straight into The Gravedigger’s Song. As with much (but not all) of this evening’s set, it was a mellower evening all round which was probably due to much of the area in front of the stage not being especially crushed together. The relaxed atmosphere was further helped along with the help of some of the gentler songs in his canon, One Way Street,
Resurrection Song and a surprisingly calm Gray Goes Black got the audience into a loose mood before turning the volume up with Quiver Syndrome and then straight back down again for One Hundred Days. A highlight of the evening followed soon after, with a brilliantly realised rendition of the Screaming Trees’ Black Rose Way, one of two songs from his previous band (Crawlspace being the other, arriving somewhat amusingly just as someone in the crowd shouted for another old Trees song, which may or not have been Nearly Lost You) and my favourite track from their recently-unearthed Last Words album. Another came during the encore, with a suitably funereal cover of the Smoke Fairies’ Devil In My Mind which was a rather lovely repayment of the compliment paid to Mark by the Fairies’ version of Wish You Well on their recent EP, and – as a fan of both acts – I can’t help but hope that this mutual admiration becomes something rather more collaborative in the future.

There was a bit of strangeness about two-thirds into the set when stuff (no idea what, it never got much of a mention) started being thrown onto the stage. This came to a bit of a head when something that looked like a dishcloth arced through the air during the opening of Ode To Sad Disco and landed right on top of Mark’s hand (clutching, as tradition dictates, his mic stand – although in fairness this prop is treated less as an immobile crutch and more of a plaything to be swayed against, tapped and fiddled with depending on what’s being played nowadays). Bit of a poor showing, but it has to be said, also a bit of a good shot. This also served as a bit of a distraction to the fact that the gig seemed to be getting louder, the motorik beat threatening to drown out Lanegan’s voice. And by the time Methamphetamine Blues closed the show, the performance was positively and gleefully cacophonic, leaving ears ringing and drowning out Mark’s final farewells to the crowd (“See you in the New Year”?). So loud in fact I had to apologise immediately to at least three people immediately after the show who asked me what I thought of it and who got the reply “GREAT WASN’T IT? BIT LOUD AT THE END”, as if I was suddenly a grandma.

There was much to enjoy from tonight’s (as billed) pre-festival performance: a couple of newly-performed songs being the obvious, but the band is working so well with Mark’s voice and the vision he has for his music that it was all good stuff whether this was someone’s first time seeing him or the latest in several this year. And despite the apparent relaxed nature of the event, Mark still left the stage drenched in sweat, the audience were roaring their assent from start to finish, especially the man stood near me who every now and then shouted something in either Spanish or Italian in a slightly high-pitched voice. The only real shame was that the Wulfrun Hall wasn’t particularly full, but that’s more of a downer for those who weren’t there as those who were had a whale of a time. Roll on December!
Rock En Siene, France , 25 August 2012
by Emilie

I go to Rock En Seine every year since 2008, as it is very close to where I live, and a wonderful festival, with a line-up always very good, and a sumptuous environment, the Parc de Saint-Cloud, with lots of trees, a waterfall… On the Saturday, I went to the Eagles Of Death Metal gig (which was really cool, first time I saw them) and then I went directly to the “scène Pression” where Mark was scheduled only one hour and a half later, to be sure to be first row (that was not difficult, nearly everyone was at the Black Keys show, we were like just four people there !). The whole band (well, of course, except Mark) was there ONE WHOLE HOUR before the gig to do the soundcheck! Respect guys! I’ve never seen that before in a festival. So I enjoyed a few Blues Funeral riffs even before the beginning of the gig.

I’m right in front of Mark’s mic, even if there is a gap between the barrier and the scene, that’s a wonderful place! Mark arrives as usual the last, and he is the most acclaimed by a crowd which is relatively numerous despite the hour of the night (23.30 pm, the festival closes in one hour) even if most of the people only came at the end of the Black Keys gig. No “hello”, Mark opens directly with The Gravedigger’s Song. At the end he seems not satisfied with the sound, we can see it by a frowning of him ; fortunately the problem was then solved. But where I was, I thought the sound was just perfect, as were Mark’s voice, Steven’s riffs, the lights, well, everything sincerely. And I’ve seen a lot of gigs so that’s not just fangirlishism (I’m in the mood of inventing words today 😀 but maybe it exists), I really never heard such a good sound in a festival gig, soooo aweeesooome !

I was really happy to hear Gray Goes Black live, and even if the show was definitely too short (12 songs), I think the setlist was ideal, perfect balance between rock and electro. I was just sad when Methamphetamine Blues was played, because I knew it was the end (well, you know, setlist fm ^^) and I was missing the female chorus, but apart from that, a perfect gig, definitely the best of the whole weekend !

Concerning Mark himself, well it’s Mark, so two “thank you” and a “see you” at the end (he had taken off his cap for it, soooo cuuuuteeee ! ), and that’s all. Some people may find it strange, not to say impolite, but I love Mark like he is, I just don’t want him to change (and when you know you are just going to have a 1-hour gig, you don’t want hogwash between songs anyway).

So to conclude, it was one of the best gigs in my entire life, and I can’t wait for the Trabendo in December, which will be my 5th time seeing Mark. Thanks for reading !

Trabendo, Paris, France, 5 December 2012
by Mimie

Last gig of the year for me on this night of December, and what a gig! The Mark Lanegan Band, for the 3rd time in 2012! I begin with the merchandising, unfortunately I can’t buy Dark Mark Does Christmas EP for the members of the forum because I don’t take a lot of money with me when I come to a gig, but I am very happy to leave the table with my copy, as I arrived at the venue not so early. I also bought a Blues Funeral tee-shirt, no Dark Mark tee-shirt at this gig unfortunately, but obviously the EP is more important.

I then go first row without difficulty (some friends of mine are there, but even without that, the venue isn’t much crowded at the time). I really liked Lyenn, very original, not the traditional singer / songwriter you could expect, a different instrument nearly on every song, some screams sometimes, it was definitely a good set.

Then Creature With The Atom Brain, I really loved them, but unfortunately Aldo’s voice wasn’t really audible from first row (I was beginning to fear the sound for Mark’s set). And no Black Rider Run with Mark, what a pity! But an excellent set nonetheless.

And then the stars of the night, the Mark Lanegan Band. As usual Mark doesn’t speak much, but I don’t mind: he’s just in front of me! Unfortunately my fears were justified, Mark’s voice was too low, that wasn’t at all the perfect Rock en Seine soundcheck, but between Steven’s solos and a lovely setlist, I wasn’t so sad. More annoying were some disrespectful people in the crowd, but I won’t go on about that subject, this kind of people doesn’t deserve that.

The band interpreted nearly the whole of Blues Funeral, plus some excellent oldies such as One Way Street. As a QOTSA fan, I was really happy with Hangin’ Tree during the encore, but as usual, Methamphetamine Blues, which I really love in studio version, disappoints me without the female chorus, and above all, let’s be honest, because I know it’s the last song 😀
And then, it’s the time to do the queue for signing. It’s pretty long, both before and after me. I don’t like to take the bus to go home, but I didn’t look for the underground timetable before leaving home, otherwise my gigantic shyness would have used that excuse to run away 😀 And I really wanted to meet Mark, really really really! After about half an hour of waiting (I would have waited very much longer without hesitation) Mark is in front of me. When seated, he is less impressive. However, it is still difficult for me to speak, and I went with a simple “Awesome gig!”. He grunted a “Thank you, I appreciate it” in answer. It was the loveliest grunt I heard in all my life! Photos were forbidden (I didn’t have a camera anyway) but I just don’t care: this meeting will remain in my heart forever. He kindly signed my EP and the setlist, but that was just a bonus: oh my God, oh my God, I MET MISTER LANEGAN ! I couldn’t dream of a better present for Christmas! It would have been better if I could have said to him how much his music is important for me, but that will be an excuse to meet him again ^^

Icing on the cake, Bertrand Cantat was also at that gig. I didn’t see him, but as I’m a huge fan, I’m very proud to share my musical taste with him ^^