Monday, November 10, 2008

Down the Line

'Twas a busy weekend. Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the final Gutter Twins show of 2008, and possibly forever. Greg Dulli, Mark Lanegan and the guys played an excellent 70-minute set at the Paradise. It was the second time I saw them this year, having caught them back in March at the same club. This time around, the main floor of the club filled up, but the balconies were closed due to lackluster ticket sales, I assume. It was a good turnout considering it was a busy concert evening with better-known acts playing in the area: AC/DC selling out the Gahden, the Hold Steady and Drive-By Truckers playing the Orpheum, and Nine Inch Nails in Worcester. Unlike last time when I was right in front of the stage, I opted for a booth to the right where I could see everything but have a little space to myself and a ledge to lean on.

Dulli announced straightaway that this was the last GT show and later profusely thanked each member of the band for his contributions to the album and tour. None of the band members was smoking, which was a marked departure from the last show (and the Twilight Singers gig with pretty much the same lineup in '06). I had hoped the show would be at least 90 minutes, which would have brought it up to 11 p.m., but it wasn't to be. That was the only disappointment. Both Dulli and Lanegan were in fine voice, and the band was tight, with highlights including "Front Street" from their Saturnalia album, "Down the Line" from their new EP of mostly covers, Adorata, and a smokin' version of "Change Has Come" from Lanegan's old band, the Screaming Trees. Great stuff. Dulli indicated that he was done touring for a while, with his farewell of "See you in a couple of years." I've read that he's going back into the studio to possibly work on a new Twilight Singers album while Lanegan will go back to his many side projects. All of which means more great music. Neither of those guys can do musical wrong in my book.

A special note deserves to be made of opening act Afterhours, an Italian band that Dulli has worked with in the past. They're pretty huge in Italy and seeing them live, it was easy to understand. These guys are a terrific live act, with plenty of rock star swagger and the chops to back it up. They play a brand of soulful hard rock not unlike that of Dulli's old band, The Afghan Whigs. They have an English-language album out on One Little Indian that I downloaded off of eMusic this morning and it's quite good. Worth checking out.

So earlier in the day yesterday, I headed out to Andover to run the Larry Robinson 10-miler (not named after the NHL Hall of Famer). It was a great day for a road race, sunny and cool in the 50s. Alas, my stomach didn't agree and bothered me for the entire event, but I was still able to maintain a good 8-minute/mile pace. All was well until I passed mile 9, when I noticed the 10-15 runners in front of me taking a left turn at an intersection. I was under the impression from last year that we were supposed to go straight to the finish at Andover High School, but seeing everybody take the turn, I assumed that they knew where they were going. Bad assumption. As it turned out, the cop directing traffic at that corner told one of the runners to go left and then everyone followed. Good thing there wasn't a cliff there or we would have all gone off it like lemmings. There were a couple of killer hills that I didn't remember from last year (although I did remember the finish being hilly, so I just kept going) and they weren't easy to take with the whole stomach thing going on. It wasn't long before we realized that we were off-track, but we had to keep going. Eventually we were able to loop around and come into the finish from the opposite direction, essentially doing an 11-mile race. In the official results, you'll notice that those of us who ran the wrong way had a special "OFF COURSE" designation added to our times. It didn't bother me too much, because I'm in taper mode for my marathon and was actually supposed to run 13 miles yesterday, so another one was no big deal. But it wasn't any fun to run an additional, hilly mile when all I wanted to do was find a bathroom. Well, at least it didn't happen during a marathon.

Okay, time to eat some dinner.

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