Making my way through the crowd to perch myself in the best position possible, a sudden sadness fell upon me.It hit me that the man I had come to bare witness to is essentially one of the last frontmen standing from the phenomena we call “grunge”. But that sadness quickly lifted when Novocastrian, Grace Turner quietly made her way on stage to deliver a set of songs, some seemingly unfinished, but beautiful and authentic all the same. Her gorgeous voice floated over captivating chord changes and the cracks in her voice showed the true raw emotion that resides inside of her. Authentic. Relatable.
After a brief intermission, Mr. Lanegan limped on stage. Gone is the sex symbol we knew from the Screaming Trees, gone is the Jim Morrison-esqe crooner from Queens Of The Stone Age. Wearing glasses, an old coat and hat, Lanegan is now a middle aged man who has truly lived a life that meagre folk like us couldn’t even imagine living, yet he manages to tell his story through his whisky and cigarette stained vocal chords (which NEEDS to be kept in a glass case and studied once he shuffles off this mortal coil) all the while also, somehow, telling your own life story. There haven’t been many singers or songwriters who can make you also “live” what they have lived, loved and lost without you being there. But Lanegan can.
His command of the stage without even moving or looking up is yet another gift that this last pillar of one of the greatest phenomenas of the last century possesses is something that cant be learnt. Its something that needs to be earned. And if what we felt from what he conveyed to us is all true, then that is something well earned.
Review – Nathan Dee