Brisbane 07 Review
But it’s The Twilight Singers that people are here to see tonight – or their frontman Greg Dulli at any rate, who has a surfeit of fans left over from his days fronting the seminal Afghan Whigs, and who is on his first visit to Australia. From the first notes of opener ‘Towards The Waves’ his powerful and distinctive voice cuts through the room like a knife. The five-piece ensemble are solid, but it’s Dulli who demands attention as he moves onto ‘I’m Ready’ and the epic ‘Teenage Wristband’. The Twilight Singers’ music is dense and impenetrable yet still overtly melodic, and Dulli is like a crow stealing artifacts for his nest as he litters his tracks with random inserts of lines and even whole verses from other songs with increasing alacrity (including a couple of Afghan Whigs snippets which illicit an excited response).
Suddenly the show takes a huge turn as Dulli’s mate Mark Lanegan lurches onto stage and starts growling out a cover of Massive Attack’s ‘Live with Me’ in his trademark whisky-soaked croon. It’s like a whole different band as they move through folk standard ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night’, Lanegan’s own ‘I’ll Take Care Of You’ and Twilight Singers’ track ‘Flashback’. But he disappears as quickly as he arrives, and Dulli takes back the reins as he segues The Beatles’ ‘All You Need Is Love’ into his own ‘Love’ and then ‘Annie Mae’ like they belong together. The remainder of the set is as intense and powerful as this, tunes like ‘Accident’, ‘Candy Cane Crawl’, ‘Fat City’ and ‘Forty Dollars’ thrilling all and sundry.
But it’s not over yet. The encore is like the third act of a play, Dulli teasing with a smoldering segment of Springsteen’s ‘I’m On Fire’ before moving to the keyboards for ‘The Killer’ and easing this into an absolutely incredible version of TV On The Radio’s ‘Wolf Like Me’, slowing the tempo and adding gravitas to an already amazing song. Lanegan returns for versions of his own tracks ‘Boogie Boogie’ and ‘Sideways In Reverse’ before the night meanders to a close with a restrained, languid version of ‘Black Is The Colour Of My True Love’s Hair’.
An amazing concert, which more than fulfills the heady expectations of the hordes of fans finally getting to see one of their heroes in action.