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Being There: Twilight Singers

The Cleveland Free Times
Grog Shop, Wednesday, May 24
By Shelly Greenberg

Greg Dulli, the mastermind behind the Twilight Singers, completely mesmerized a packed house at the Grog Shop. The band came on stage as “Toward the Wave” filtered out of the speakers, and Dulli and his cohorts emerged from the crowd to take their places to deliver the powerful “I’m Ready.” Instant pandemonium broke out as audience members moved to the front.

With his Baldwin Brothers good looks, Dulli smirked at bass player Scott Ford during the sultry “Too Tough to Die.” Any sign of modesty would have been a blatant lie, so Dulli basked in the light and, with his mouth pressed to the mic, his words were as smooth and as addictive as the drugs he’s since kicked. Manny Agnelli fingered the keyboards while drummer Bobby McIntyre slithered and sweated over his skins with hypnotic precision. The band delivered the harrowing and destructive “Bonnie Brae” with the help of Dario Ciffo (from openers Afterhours) on electric violin. With a six-song encore that included “Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair” off She Loves You, the Twilight Singers pushed boundaries most bands never explore.

Opener Jeff Kline (whose album The Hustler was produced by Dulli) began the night with his unique, lusty alt-country ballads. His low, gravely voice struck a chord as he created a full-band sound by instantly recording and playing back beats with a myriad of foot pedals before him. His early set was missed by many but absorbed by those who caught it. Hailing from Italy, Afterhours (also produced by Dulli) painted an interesting homage to American rock by fusing a raw garage sound with early heavy metal. Supported by a crazy blend of electric violin, saxophone and a thundering bass, the shaggy-haired five-piece played the second half of the set in its native tongue. Despite the language barrier, the songs were not lost on audience members who raised their glasses to their new favorite band.

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