Sunday, April 08, 2012

Mark Lanegan Band, live @ Fuzz Club (Athens, April 5, 2012)

After several visits in the last few years along with his many notable collaborators (Greg Dulli, Isobel Campbell, Soulsavers), Mark Lanegan returned to Athens once more, this time for a solo gig with his own band. Thursday night at Fuzz Club it was time for a Blues Funeral.

Little before half past ten, after local act Illegal Operation presented us with their own version of the blues, Lanegan and his band came onstage without much fanfare and went straight to business, kicking things off with the excellent "The Gravedigger's Song", one of "Blues Funeral"'s greatest tracks.

Lanegan’s latest opus, as expected, was the backbone of the 75-minute set, with older material coming mainly from previous album "Bubblegum" and its accompanying EP "Here Comes That Weird Chill". "Hit the City" and the explosive "Methamphetamine Blues", the encore’s only song, were the tracks that stood out from this period, while "Gray Goes Black", "Quiver Syndrome", "Riot in My House", "Ode to Sad Disco" and "Tiny Grain of Truth" were among the most enjoyable moments from the new record. "Harborview Hospital", unfortunately, went missing in action (it was penciled in for the encore along with old favorite "Pendolum", but both never came to be).

One of the surprises of the evening came with the inclusion of Screaming Trees' "Crawlspace", one of their lesser known tracks as it was officially released only last year on "Last Words: The Final Recordings", the band’s “lost” album (isn’t it time for a Screaming Trees reunion? I for one would pay good money for that). From Lanegan’s '90s solo material, we only got his version of The Leaving Trains' "Creeping Coastline of Lights" (off 1999’s covers album "I'll Take Care of You"), while "One Way Street" and "Resurrection Song" represented 2001’s "Field Songs" (alas no "Don't Forget Me").

It's true that with such an impressive body of work, there are many more songs that we would love to have heard from Lanegan and his band on Thursday, but without a doubt this was another highly enjoyable evening in the company of our highly esteemed old pal. Let's do it again soon to make up for that missing "Harborview Hospital", ok?

Here's the awesome "Quiver Syndrome" from Mark Lanegan Band's Athens gig, one of my personal highlights of the evening:

Mark Lanegan Band - Quiver Syndrome, live @ Fuzz Club (April 5, 2012)

More live reviews from Lanegan's previous visits: with the Gutter Twins in 2008, with Greg Dulli in 2009, with Isobel Campbell in 2010.

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