Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dead Can Dance live at the Gibson Amphitheater Los Angeles, August 14, 2012

Dead Can Dance is one of my favorite bands of all time. It is really hard to describe their sound because it's so different depending on which album you are talking about. They range from gothic, ethereal, artrock, Gregorian chants, Arabic melodies, Gaelic folk, etc.. It's not exactly pop music and it's not unusual for them to cover a song from the 1500s or so. The band consists of Lisa Gerrard, who mostly sings in her own made up language, glossolalia, and Brendan Perry, who has more of a folk style, and sings mostly in English though he does sing in different languages also. The band existed from 1981 until 1998, reunited in 2005, then again this year and recorded a new album entitled Anastasis.

The band is currently on tour and I had the oppurtunity to see them at the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal Citywalk. I first walked in and the first thing I noticed was that they were not checking for cameras. This was great! I could take all the pictures and videos I want! I was a little apprehensive about taking a camera in because when I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers a few days ago, they were searching peoples bags. I sat down and was happy that the seats I got were not too far from the stage. The size of the place was great because you have an amazing view no matter where you are. At around 8:15 the opening act arrived. His name is David Kuckhermann, who played an instrument called a PanArt Hang, which looks like a tiny wok, and plays different sounds. He played this for a bit, which you can see in these videos.
After this, he switched to this other instrument, which looked like a tiny tambourine. He played this for one song, which you can see here.
To close his set he performed a song with a woman called Miranda Rodeau, and they both played these drums. Really cool song called Dragonfly which you can see in the following video.
 I was very impressed by the opening act, it created a nice ambiance in the amphitheater and you can tell him and Miranda were both influenced by Dead Can Dance. A very impressive opening act. No onwards to the main act...

They started out the set with the new song Children of the Sun, which had Brendan Perry on main vocals. There were no fancy lighting or theatrics. It was a very simple show, a very intimate feel.
I love Brendan's vocals and Lisa's instrumentation on this song. Throughout the concert I couldn't believe I was actually seeing this live! I have been a fan for many years and they did not disappoint. They mostly played songs from the new album, but they did play some older tracks like the classic Rakim, which features both Lisa and Branden on vocals.
They played songs from the new album such as Opium, Amnesia, Return of the She King and Anabasis, but you cannot deny the beauty of older gems they played such as The Host of Seraphim (made famous from the movies Baraka and The Mist), Sanvean, and the Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove. The band were in tight shape, never missing a queue. The big surprise of the night was that the band not only did Dreams Made Flesh, which was a song from the This Mortal Coil album, It'll End In Tears, but they covered one of my all time favorite songs, SONG TO THE SIREN!!! Brendan Perry did a touching rendition of this classic Tim Buckley song, also made famous by Liz Fraser and Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins, also on the same album from This Mortal Coil. I loved it so much! The only complaint I would have with the show was the big yellow light that shone right in my eyes during a few songs that Lisa sang and the obnoxious song requests from a select few people in the crowd. Nevertheless, it was an amazing show. A show I will never forget and which I will always remember as a magical, beautiful moment. Words cannot truly express the love I have for this group. They soothe me, they bring me a sense of calmness in a crazy world. Here are some pics I took of the show. I hope you enjoy.

 Here are some highlights of the night:

Dreams Made Flesh:

Host of Seraphim:
Song To The Siren:

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