Thursday, October 13, 2005

Dead Can Dance...alive again



"Nierika" Live in Dublin MP3

Dead Can Dance is a band that like the Talking Heads, Grateful Dead, and Pixies, I never thought I would ever see live. Pixies I have now seen three times, Jerry Garcia has no plans to come back to life and the Talking Heads most likely will never play together again. Last night I was lucky enough to witness a true spectacle that is Dead Can Dance, live at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. When I was in college I had many amazing experiences with DCD as the counteract so it will always bring back memories for me when I hear them. The song I posted, "Nierika", was also used on a short film I made for one of my film classes at UW. The show was at an Opera house and it actually was very much like a modern...yet Baroque opera in some ways. Lisa Gerard was like an angel with a voice that literally is heaven. Dressed in an all white gown she played the dulcimer and on some songs stood onstage solo and brought the house down. Some of what she sang were hymn's from the 1400's and it was so powerful, tears filled the eyes of many people around us. Rounding out the vocals is Brenden Parry who compliments Lisa perfectly. They only sang together on a few songs, usually it is one or the other. Brenden's songs reminded me a little of Peter Gabriel but with an even bigger voice. He has such a presence onstage and some of the songs he sang had such a dark and gloomy feel that you couldn't help but feel the pain. Others were uplifting with the percussion and strings behind the vocals leading the crowd to the light and after each song a massive applause from the crowd.

You can purchase every show from their world tour on their website: DCD
Also I HIGHLY suggest checking out the film "Toward The Within" which contains some unbelievable live footage.

Bio from their 4 disc set they released:
"1981-1998 reveals why Dead Can Dance was such an influential group and why their music remains very much alive. From the opening notes of "Frontier," the first piece Lisa Gerard and Brendan Perry improvised together, Dead Can Dance opened a doorway into worlds at once ancient and alien, frightening and glorious. 1981-1998 compiles the output of Dead Can Dance from their seven studio albums, live performances, and sundry collections. Through their many stylistic shifts, it reveals the music of ecstasy, a state of spiritual release that can be as serene as a Gregorian chant and as intense as a Persian dervish. But then, Dead Can Dance always had two sides. There were Perry's Jim Morrison-meets-Sinatra vocal croons, and there was the uncanny and passionate Gerrard, whose Middle Eastern, Bulgarian, and Gregorian singing styles created a transcultural dialect of the imagination. Perry surrounds Gerrard in a gothic architecture of synthesizers, strings, the Chinese hammered dulcimer called the yang ch'in (played by Gerrard), bouzoukis, and hurdy-gurdys. As ancient as its sources, Dead Can Dance is as modern as the end of time, which is where a lot of this music still sounds like it's headed. 1981-1998 follows the pair from their beginnings in Australia to their final studio album, the African-Indian derived Spiritchaser. Among the gems are their last song together, "The Lotus Eaters," recorded just before their final split, and a Gerrard composition called "Bylar." Performed here by Dead Can Dance, this rapturous piece was previously available only on The Echoes Living Room Concerts Volume 2, in a version by Gerrard. In concert, Dead Can Dance was almost a religious experience and that aspect is nearly captured on the final disc of this box in a DVD of their live concert film, Toward the Within. Also included are some videos."
-John Diliberto

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Fernando Olmos said...

Excellent review of DCD. I love this band and I wish they would tour Australia soon. Their music really takes me to a new level of conscience and soul vibrations to boggie my shoobies all night long. Love it!

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