Concert Review: Mark Lanegan- Academy, Dublin on Saturday 17-01-15 – By Killian Laher
In the last 15 years or so, Mark Lanegan has developed into one of the most prolific recording artists out there. The thing is, until recently, many of these recordings were as a chief collaborator/colluder with other artists, from Queens of the Stone Age to Isobel Campbell (and several points in between).
A regular visitor to Dublin, his live audience has over the years, grown to the point where he now needs two consecutive nights to satisfy demand. But those expecting a night of darkness were thrown by the support act, comic duo Sean Wheeler and Zander Schloss. Wheeler cut something of a sharp-dressed clown, as he sang some fairly hokey, country folk songs (The Pussy Song being one), while mincing about the stage, backed by Schloss on guitar and banjo. Stagecraft included a phone call to Wheeler’s mother midsong, yet the audience lapped it up, and they got a rousing reception.
On Lanegan’s last visit just over a year ago, he and his band appeared under-rehearsed and untogether. Thankfully this time his band were very much on their game, as they powered through what is an excellent body of work. Far from the expected gloomfest, Harvest Home and Ode To Sad Disco had the crowd dancing from early on, in stark contrast to the static Lanegan. Focusing mainly on more recent material (relatively speaking), Sleep With Me, Gray Goes Black and Hit the City hit all the right notes for the excited audience. The Dandy Warhols-evoking Quiver Syndrome saw Mark Lanegan break out his higher register, but it was on the slower tracks that he excelled. The goosebump-inducing One Hundred Days was an early highlight, while icy synths provided a fine backdrop to No Bells On Sunday.
The night peaked with Torn Red Heart, a highlight from last year’s Phantom Radio album, and a song which already feels like an important song for Lanegan. Here, it was rendered almost hymn-like, a sort of update of Joy Division’s Atmosphere. The night finished with a flourish, dusting off Screaming Trees rarity Black Rose Way before a rather brief encore of Methamphetamine Blues. If you were looking for showmanship, this was not the place for it. But as a display of pure music, it was faultless. Mark Lanegan may yet transcend his cult status and achieve true recognition if he continues like this. Perish the thought.
The Gravedigger’s Song
Sleep With Me
One Way Street
One Hundred Days
Gray Goes Black
No Bells on Sunday
Ode to Sad Disco
Morning Glory Wine
Hit the City
Floor of the Ocean
Torn Red Heart
Riot in My House
Creeping Coastline of Lights (Leaving Trains cover)
Black Rose Way (Screaming Trees song)
Death Trip to Tulsa
Categories: Gig Reviews, Gigs, Header, Music
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