Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Live Show Review: The Gutter Twins

The Gutter Twins
Bimbos 365
San Francisco, CA

What do you say about an evening spent in the city with Mr. Dulli and Mr. Lanegan sharing songs from their new album, Saturnalia?

Another round bartender, and keep 'em coming.

Even better was watching the Gutter Twins perform live in Bimbo's 365, an Old Italian supper club located in the North Beach district of San Francisco. The clubs 1390's era ballroom was a fitting backdrop to hear Dulli and Lanegan's pulp noir brand of rock n roll redemption and their continuing evolution as musicans.

Having not heard the Gutter Twin's debut album prior to the show (it's out March 4th), the songs off Saturnalia sounded amazing and like a natural progression for both artists. As they demonstrated on previous Twilight Singer's albums, Dulli and Lanegan are a potent combo vocally, and with musical muscle from Dave Rosser- Guitar/Vocals, Scott Ford- Bass/Vocals, Jeff Klein- Guitar/Keys/Vocals, and Cully Symington- Drums, the Gutter Twins are only going to get tighter as the tour progresses and the band explores the new songs in a live setting.

After the Gutter Twins assembled on stage and lit the first of many cigarettes, the band launched into the first song off Saturnalia, “The Stations”. Lanegan and Dulli harmonized on the vocals and then traded off vocal duties for the remainder of the song, a move they would use throughout the evening.

Being the more animated of the two, Dulli was the master of ceremonies, leading the band through the new song’s peaks and valleys and offering cues to the rest of the band when a song needed to change direction or stop altogether. Never one to really engage the audience, Lanegan performed the show with his eyes closed while clutching the mic stand, although we did get a smile toward the end of the night and a few thanks.

The audience was also treated to a smattering of covers and songs from Lanegan and Dulli's personal songbook. A menacing version of Massive Attack's "Live With Me" got the crowd going early in the set, and the encore set included a soaring version of Dulli's "Papillon" and a heavy, smoldering version of Lanegan's "Methamphetemine Blues"

I wish I could add more to the new songs other than “they fucking rocked” but that would require me to actually have known the songs prior to the show and have refrained from the wonderful beverage served at Bimbos . The songs off Saturnalia mine the similar territory that Dulli has recently covered in the Twilight Singers and Lanegan did with Bubblegum.

In an era when most 90s artists seem content to live in the nostalgia of the 90s, or are pushing up the daisies, these two musicians consistently continue to move forward and create an incredible body of work.

So pull the blinds down, pour a tumbler of whiskey, cue up Saturnalia on the stereo and enjoy the darkness.

photos courtesy of www.flickr.com/photos/tags/guttertwins/

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