guttersmall.jpg

Photo by Michael Alan Goldberg. Click here for a slideshow.

The Gutter Twins

When: Thursday, Feb. 14

Where: Bowery Ballroom, New York City

Note: The

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Last Night: The Gutter Twins in New York City

Lanegan and Dulli -- together again!

guttersmall.jpg

Photo by Michael Alan Goldberg. Click here for a slideshow.

The Gutter Twins

When: Thursday, Feb. 14

Where: Bowery Ballroom, New York City

Note: The Gutter Twins come to the Showbox on Tuesday, March 4.

What better way to spend Valentine's Day than with two dark princes of despair -- Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli -- and their new band, the Gutter Twins? Thursday night at the sold-out Bowery Ballroom in New York City was the long-gestating group's tour launch (in fact, if I'm not mistaken, their first U.S. show ever). With voices and personas like vampires, this pair -- which Dulli has so perfectly coined "the Satanic Everly Brothers" -- should probably only appear in public between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m.; they came close to that by arriving onstage fashionably late, well after 11 p.m. (although by New York standards that's fairly early). Clearly, the enthusiastic crowd didn't mind one bit as the duo and their backing four-piece band slid into "All Misery/Flowers," a track from their upcoming full-length Saturnalia. For the most part, the vibe was as deliciously black as the pair's threads, smoky as the wisps oozing from Dulli's ever-present cigarette, and gritty as their band name (and, at one time, the streets right outside the venue itself) suggested.

For the entirety of the 75-minute-or-so set, Lanegan maintained his standard pose -- hands gripping the microphone and stand, his body leaning ever so forward -- and cast sideways glances at his partner-in-gloom, while Dulli, often wielding his shiny black Les Paul, was a bit more animated as he flailed and spun, lit cigarettes and guzzled bottled water, and interacted with the rest of his bandmates. Both were in spectacular vocal form, Lanegan's sepulchral croon and Dulli's impassioned, anguished howls meshing together more perfectly than you could even imagine. There was little in the way of stage banter, but the band was more interested in creating and sustaining mood with their nocturnal ballads and grimy rock-outs than smilin' and chattin'.

The main set consisted of nearly all of Saturnalia's 12 songs, plus a cover of Swedish singer-songwriter Jose Gonzalez's "Down the Line," which featured Dulli singing lead and playing keyboards (he sat behind the keys for three or four of the night's tunes). Coming out for an encore, Dulli said to the crowd, "You wanna hear some songs you know?" and cheers erupted as the crew began to play Lanegan's solo gem, "The River Rise." After that came the Twilight Singers' "Papillon," "King Only" and "Number 9" mixed in with more Lanegan solo songs -- "No Easy Action" and "Methamphetamine Blues." And then it was over, with Dulli wishing the crowd a happy Valentine's Day. You could definitely see and feel the love right back.

 
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