Posted in music | pictures on February 15, 2008

The Gutter Twins @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC - Feb 14, 2008 (Caryn Rose)
The Gutter Twins @ Bowery Ballroom

My odd thought about tonight was that this show was just - grown up. I haven't seen the lyrics and haven't lived with the songs enough, but this is not about Are you here to make par-tay or even the themes of loss and, well, loss that have hung over acres of Twilight Singers material. Don't get me wrong, this is still a collaboration between Dulli and Lanegan and it's not rainbows and puppies and roses, and it's plenty fuckin dark. But it was just at another level, and maybe because Mark's ass is also on that line, but I have never seen the band this whip-smart and sharp and just totally together, like Greg can put up one hand and conduct the band and they turn on a dime. [jukeboxgraduate]

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Comments (20)

Wow... I couldn't disagree more. Mark Lanegan was magnetic late in '07 with the Soulsavers at Gramercy Theatre, but his commanding person was significantly watered down and reduced to bystander status because of Greg Dulli's dreadful preening, posing, and "I'm a rock star again! Yes!" presence. I left this show very, very underwhelmed--it was one of the worst I've seen in some time--and will most definitely NOT be buying the album, seeing them again, or ever, ever find myself in the presence of Afghan Whigs music (which I never liked in the first place) or Greg Dull-i.

I hate to be so negative, but the show was just incredibly disappointing. Even the Gutter Twins songs, themselves, just sounded sloppy, uneven, and dull. I got a kick out of Lanegan's stuff (and thank GOD they played some of it), but the GT songs just sucked. To each his own, but I'm not sure how anyone could have left last night's performance so impressed.

And, um, *why* and *how*, exactly, is Lanegan's "ass on that line?"

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2008 11:00 AM

You better be careful... Disagreeing with Caryn Rose is a bad idea.

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2008 11:21 AM

dear Caryn Rose,

your review doesn't make a lick of sense. I've read it six times and I still can't figure it out.

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2008 11:22 AM

that jose gonzalez cover (down the line) was wholly unexpected and pretty cool. aside from some bad harmonies on a couple songs which I'll write off on it being their first show ever (the 3rd(?) song in particular was particularly bad harmony-wise) , I thought the show was great. dulli and lanegan are the perfect complement to each other. looking forward to picking up the album...and I think I actually saw Lanegan smile during the encore at one point!

Posted by sean t | February 15, 2008 11:27 AM

It was their first show doing the new material. I should now because I was in the band that opened up. Mark is a dark guy all right but he's a nice guy and if he has any demons he probably uses it as an inspiration.

It was fun and now I'm hungover.

Cheers.

Posted by Gaz | February 15, 2008 11:49 AM

Dulli has been doing the Jose Gonzalez cover for a while---you can hear it on the Twilight Singers MySpace page. Based on the reviews I'm glad I didn't make the show last night. The record is disappointing---sounds like two bands and never really comes together as a cohesive unit. Didn't expect this since Dulli and Lanegan have had this project in the works for years.

What Whigs songs did they perform? Lanegan's solo stuff?

Posted by TWB | February 15, 2008 11:55 AM

Wow could not disagree more with some of the negative posters. Makes me think that they were probably not there because the crowd loved this show which was great having most not know the new material. I totally agree with Caryn Rose's review and i was thinking the same thing during the show. It was not your typical yeasayer, dan deacon etc bullshit. It was lovely and adult and dark and really melded the 2 singers musical personas. Anon 11am obviously has a personal grudge against Dulli. TWB i would bet is full of shit in that he has heard the record. I have actually heard the record and its awesome. It was sent out to very few people so im calling bullshit on him. A great show and a very special show. They are only going to get better.

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2008 12:32 PM

I second that emotion:

It was 'lovely and adult and dark' -- the crowd was well behaved and the band was TIGHT. Given that 99% of us didn't know the GT material -- and even the Twilight encores were fairly obscure -- the reception was enthusiastic. And rightly so. They started strong and just got stronger as the night went on-- till 12:20 !!

Posted by David z | February 15, 2008 1:16 PM

" TWB i would bet is full of shit in that he has heard the record. I have actually heard the record and its awesome. It was sent out to very few people so im calling bullshit on him. A great show and a very special show. They are only going to get better."

What would you like to know about the record, or should I send you the link when my review hits? I don't need to bullshit anyone.

Posted by TWB | February 15, 2008 2:03 PM

"Makes me think that they were probably not there because the crowd loved this show which was great having most not know the new material."

Um... I said "to each his own," dickhead. Disagree with me? Fine. But I'm hardly into "typical yeasayer, dan deacon bullshit," I'm probably older than you (as if that means anything), and I thought the show was fucking terrible. Big fucking deal. You liked it? Fantastic!

As for a "personal grudge," if you call not caring for someone's music, then sure, it's a "personal grudge." I prefer to call it "I don't like his music whatsoever, or his over-the-top, stuck-in-the-90s stage presence."

Fuck off and step down from the soapbox.

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2008 2:15 PM

omg..a bunch of angry white men today! dulli has a double chin.

Posted by lola | February 15, 2008 2:34 PM

i was there and i thought it was pretty awful. i love the whigs but the twilight singers suck...dulli's ego is just sky high and he just plays the same song over and over again.

as for lanegan, he rules...plain and simple. i expected little from that soulsavers show and it was amazing...or very great at least. i think it was because the soulsavers sort of knew lanegan was the draw and let him command the shows. dulli doesnt let that happen and it was horrible seeing lanegan play second fiddle despite the talent he has.

i thought the recorded gutter twins tracks sounded good and balanced but the live versions pretty much sucked. i liked the few where mark totally sings for a change.

as for the encore, it was probably my least favorite bunch of old lanegan and twilight singers songs. no whigs tracks.

dulli just plain sucks these days...ive lost a lot of respect for the guy.

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2008 3:08 PM

There seems to be a bit of revisionism at work here: Dulli is, was, and will always be a stage hog. This is nothing new, so why would this show be any different?

Lanegan does rule, and mightily so, but this wasn't his concert, this was their concert, simple as that.

Was it the perfect show? No. But it was their first, and for a first show it was pretty damn good. Or so I thought, sorry if you felt gyped.

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2008 6:39 PM

The guy did not feel gyped. Look at how he is so angry and hateful of Dulli but yet he still went to the show. Idiot. ANd please folks do not take TWB's word on what the album sounds like. Listen for yourselves. It is streaming here

http://3voor12.vpro.nl/speler/luisterpaal/39261992

Enjoy

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2008 8:41 PM

DULLI IS GOD. STFU DOUBTERS.

Posted by Jonah | February 15, 2008 8:42 PM

Thanks for the link,going to see them on amsterdam on sat,cant wait

Posted by David Murphy | February 15, 2008 10:34 PM

Thanks for the link. Shame there's no Canaan's Land. Their cover of it is awesome.

Posted by Anonymous | February 16, 2008 4:48 PM

I enjoyed the show. I agree the harmonies weren't always great, but it was their first show. Bet they'll sound better as the tour rolls along.

The setlist included the whole GT album (i think), Down the Line & Live With Me. The Encore included River Rise, Papillon(Lanegan on second verse), No Easy Action (awesome!!!), King Only, Methamphetamine Blues, and Number Nine.

I like the backing band. The keyboard player and Lanegan had some nice harmonies going...can't remember which song.

Dulli is fat, arrogant, and smokes too much. I thought he kicked ass. He played rhythm guitar and enjoyed the musicianship taking place around him.

Posted by Steve-O | February 17, 2008 10:50 PM

Come on. Of course Dulli is a "stage hog" and has a huge ego, that's why we've loved his music for two decades. He does it better than any white man in the business. He sells and he still stands up and purports that insanity. If anything, it seems to have taken a toll on him and anyone who thinks that a guy like that gets away without some kind of depressive undertow is naive. It's part of what his art embodies. Maybe a bit presumptuous, but that's what I draw from it. It did seem like the morose nature of the Gutter Twins material and Lanegan's hugely stoic presence put a lid on Dulli.

There were, no doubt, some harmony difficulties with a few of the new songs (especially the low-down numbers) but it was the first show of the tour. I can't see why anyone would gripe about the show or record, it seems very project-like and it's a high quality delivery from two of the hardest and most well-worn men in the business. These are guys that have lived it. There's something honest and unquestionably beautiful about what both these guys do, even when they stumble.

I thought the encore of back catalog songs was well done. Lanegan's detachment from the crowd and band is unnerving and he split after his last lyric, which is somehow awesome. There was an awkwardness to seeing these two guys go at it together but I'd bet that by the tour's end the live set will be something special.

Posted by Sean H. | February 24, 2008 2:39 AM

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