Last Night: The Twilight Singers, Margot & the Nuclear So and So's at the Granada Theater

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The Twilight Singers, Margot & the Nuclear So and So's
The Granada Theater
May 30, 2011

Much better than: sitting around waiting for the damn NBA Finals to get going.

While many folks gathered at parks and other area locales in order to show respect for those who have fought for this country, at least a few hundred or so made their way to the Granada Theater last night to take in the cinematic sounds of The Twilight Singers.

And Greg Dulli and crew did not disappoint the diverse and courteous crowd as both band and audience maintained a decorum fitting the occasion.

Yet even before The Twilight Singers hit the stage, Indianapolis' Margot & the Nuclear So and So's performed an energetic and intense opening salvo that set the mood for the evening. Sounding like an amped-up Okkervil River, this oddly named six-piece thrilled the hundred or so early-arrivers with a set that sent many (including me) to spend some cash at the Margot merchandise table.

Although sporadically raucous, The Twilight Singers seemed content at this show to deliver the alt-rock goods while at the same time reigning in some of the manic tendencies associated with Dulli's previous band, The Afghan Whigs.

Beginning with "Last Night in Town," the opening cut from The Twilight Singers' most recent effort, Dynamite Steps, Dulli and crew were engaged with the audience from the get-go.

"It's only Monday night in your mind," shouted Dulli early on as the band launched into "Forty Dollars," one of the best cuts from the band's 2006 effort Powder Burns.

Playing songs that spanned The Twilight Singers' decade-long existence, Dulli and his capable ensemble created a fan-friendly atmosphere that allowed most everyone to wallow in the dark and dank ambiance of songs such as "Bonnie Brae" and "Teenage Wristband."

Indeed, the audience was so intact with the band, that is was difficult to discern when some songs ended and others began due to the intensity of the crowd's adulation. New songs such as "She Was Stolen" and "Get Lucky" were greeted with equal reverence with as older fare such as "Decatur Street" and "Annie Mae."

In the end, it was an intense evening of music as Greg Dulli and The Twilight Singers connected with an adoring audience that didn't (at all) mind wallowing in the decadent world of someone they not only look up to, but someone they almost wish to be.

God help them.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
I enjoy the music that Greg Dulli makes with The Twilight Singers, but I was a huge fan of the guy's work The Afghan Whigs. Dulli has certainly mellowed a bit nowadays, but one gets the feeling that this guy could still implode at any moment. And, in terms of rock 'n' roll transcendence, such might be a good thing.

Random Note: The staff at The Granada has to be the best in town. These guys go out of their way to make sure the crowds are taken care of.

By The Way: This was one of the best-looking crowds I have ever seen at the Granada. Perhaps Greg Dulli's sexual chutzpa seems to draw in the high end talent. But, whatever the reason, I was distinctly out of my element.

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