Mark Lanegan, The former frontman of Screaming Trees, has returned to Australia has part of this year’s Splendour in the Grass festival. The music legend is prominent for his eloquent and moving songwriting. Even before I entered the venue, I knew that it was going to be a magical night, and I can confirm that he exceeded them expectations.
Opening with ‘Harvest Home’ was an energetic and electric start for Lanegan and his band. Instantly, it was evident that his voice was in an amazing place by the way he was gliding his raspy vocals so effortlessly over the shimmering guitars. The resplendent ‘The Gravedigger’s Song’ was next up in his set. The incredible energy from his first track was still soaring throughout his second track.
There was one guarantee tonight. Nothing was stopping him.
‘Sleep With Me’ exhibited the rawness of Lanegan’s vocals. ‘One Way Street, which featured on 2001’s Field Songs, featured spine-tingling stripped down arrangements. Though it’s hard to pick a favourite from his set, this track was emotion stirring and was without a doubt one of the highlights. The intoxicating ‘Floor of the Ocean’ has a drowsy, uplifting vibe to track. During his performance of the track, it wasn’t difficult to become absorbed in the spaciness of the song, and it’s transcendent aura. Despite these vibes, ‘Floor of the Ocean’ stays true to what Lanegan is all about.
The last track he played before leaving for the initial part of his set was ‘Death Trip to Tulsa’. The heavy track was a strong closer, evoking all sorts of ominous and powerful vibes that Lanegan owns. This song also made for the perfect path to the closer as it’s high energy left punters craving more.
He’s encore featured songs such as ‘I Am the Wolf’ and ’The Killing Season’. His last and final song of the night was the percussion heavy ‘Methamphetamine Blues’. The rough sounds of this track made for a memorable finale to what was a solid set.
Mark Lanegan and his band dominated the night the best way they know how — with dark and dirty (yet beautiful) rock and roll.
Written by Sally Swan