BEING THERE: Mark Lanegan @ Underground Arts


Photo by DAN LONG

More than a few of my most trusted musical advisors told me “You have to go to Lanegan.” So when I heard he was playing Underground Arts I didn’t hesitate to follow suit, and I’m glad I did. For those of you who stayed home, you missed a beautiful performance that recreated choice cuts from the newly released Phantom Radio, as well as older stock like Blues Funeral and Bubblegum, to name but a few. From the gorgeous lullaby-like “Resurrection Song” to the synth heavy “Harborview Hospital” and the newly released “Floor of the Ocean,” Lanegan and band rang as one. Lanegan has achieved cult status. The front of the venue packed with devotees mouthing all of the words to every song, but thankfully not singing along, because I am certain nobody could match his chops, or or that smoky baritone cured with tobacco, bourbon and opiates. No one sounds like him or for that matter looks like him (Will Ferrell and Chad Smith comparisons be damned), which is one of the reasons for his cult stardom and a big part of his charm. Last night’s set reminded me of how I like to think of his solo work as a perfect match for people who kinda dig Tom Waits, but really dig Gun Club, Joy Division, Nick Cave, old Psychedelic Furs. If you hurry, you can go see them at Webster Hall in NYC or in DC before thy ship off to Europe. Shit, I might hurry – they were that good. — DAN LONG