Nevermind The Posers

See ya in the pit.

Dead Can Dance at Beacon Theatre (Night 2) August 30, 2012 September 29, 2012

Filed under: Concert Reviews — NVMP @ 12:47 AM
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Review by: Mark B.

After 16 years of album-related silence and 7 years passed since their last reunion tour, Dead Can Dance finally took the stage on Thursday night, for the second night of their two Beacon Theater shows. Amidst an air of beaming wonder and eager bliss from the mass of dedicated fans, DCD finally ventured out from the shadows and back on the road in support of their newest album Anastasis, their first album of original material since 1996’s World music heavy Spiritchaser.

Taking the stage to radiating waves of cheers and screams from the eagerly awaiting crowd, the duo of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard (who was dressed in a long black dress and flowing golden cape, looking much like a physical representation of one of their songs) merely smiled in quiet acknowledgment and took their places. Mr. Perry opened the show with “Children of the Sun,” the first track off of Anastasis. A grand and airy march-like tune, the song gave off vibes of a return to a sound that developed at the height of their career, where Medieval chants merged with an increasing World music flavor. The tune set the pace for the rest of the show; a slow and hypnotic journey into the realm of the group’s spacious, more pensive songs led by a complete performance of the new album interwoven through older selections, including a fitting cover of an 800 year old song from Spain and an older Russian folk song, both performed by Perry.

There was some disappointment that none of the older song selections included anything before their 1993 album Into the Labyrinth (one would assume at least one or two of these amazing tracks would make the encores, they didn’t). But what DCD lacked in older material, they more than made up for in true musical cohesiveness. It was a privilege to experience a band that took the effort to create a set that tonally and musically gelled together. They politely disregarded songs the audience would expect to hear, allowing them to transport the audience from their seats at the Beacon theater into the surreal and wondrous world formed between the musical minds of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard.

Although Mr. Perry’s performance felt like the guiding force of the evening, especially since he had really determined the direction of the show with his opening song, both members managed to strike a perfect balance between his mystic, philosophical chants and her heavenly, tonal non-lyrics. Lisa Gerrard’s songs especially took on an other-worldly quality, almost making her the subtle star of the evening. On Cd’s or records her vocals seemed to carry an air of overly artsy nonsense where live her voice had the space to roll over the crowd and up to the highest points of the ceiling. From the moment the spotlight illuminated her as she started her first song, the flow of her self-styled lyrics seemed to pull the show into another realm.

The wondrous balance thankfully lasted through 3 encores, with Brendan Perry taking the lion’s share of the tunes. Lisa Gerrard took the final encore of the evening, ending with the folk song “The Rising of the Moon,” as she released each note with a tenderness that allowed each member of the audience to absorb every note and conjured syllable that slipped from her tongue to the open air.

It was a truly marvelous evening with one of the world’s most incredible acts, one that won’t be forgotten anytime soon… at least until the next time they decide to tour.

 

 

What You’ve Been Missing – Brendan Perry March 27, 2011

by Mark B.

For the better part of a 30+ year musical career, he has been known as one half of the mystifying group Dead Can Dance, known for masterfully arranging unique soundscapes from blending numerous musical genres and movements (Chant, Irish folk, African poly rhythms, Medieval, Renaissance, Middle Eastern and Punk, to name a few).   Co-led by his distinctive style of chant singing, Perry provided a powerful presence with a radiant counterbalance to partner Lisa Gerrard’s booming mystical voice, helping to guide the listener through beautiful poetic verses entwined within world influences.  But the world of musical wonders was not to last forever, as DCD decided to call it quits not long after the release of their final album in 1996.   Fortunately this would not be the last we would hear from the cathedral voiced musician, as he chose to continue with the release of his debut solo effort Eye of the Hunter (1999).

For fans, one of the biggest issues when a hugely influential group breaks up is whether any solo career is worth following.  Will the solo efforts be any good?   Will the new works be a stretching of their musical abilities or will they simply rehash their previous groups for years to come?  Most thankfully, Eye of the Hunter turns out to be a finely executed debut, managing to explore new musical ground and allowing Perry to vocally stretch his wings, successfully avoiding a complete rehash of DCD.   It is a beautifully ethereal, folk inspired experience featuring acoustic based arrangements, orchestral electronics and sparse instrumentation.  The tracks seamlessly shift between hopeful and melancholy with each passing track without ever becoming a cheap copy of DCD.   As the capacity to grow as a new solo artist continues after a long period of inactivity, he finally returned with his most recent release Ark (2010).  Featuring predominantly electronic arrangements and lyrics which could only be described as inward gazing outward, he manages to flesh out a more haunting, yet strangely uplifting sound without falling victim to the ever clichéd Emo-misery and gloom.  When it comes to finding beauty within the empty or experiencing the gloom without the doom, Brendan Perry is definitely an artist that you can count on to deliver, regardless of what incarnation he exists in.

Required Listening
With only 2 albums having been released since 1999, the best way to truly experience solo Brendan Perry is to get a hold of both Eye of the Hunter and Ark.  Get to it!

Six Ways To Experience Brendan Perry
6. “Inferno” – from the album Ark – An intense and otherworldly song which cries of longing.
5. “Severance” – from the album The Serpent’s Egg­­ by Dead Can Dance,
4. “The Trial”- from the album Dead Can Dance by Dead Can Dance – A fast paced world music tinged almost punk song that gives glimpses of Perry’s roots in the Punk scene of Australia.
3. “Anywhere Out of the World” – from the album Within the Realm of a Dying Sun by Dead Can Dance – Music for the world-weary romantic dreamer.
2. “Medusa” – from the album Eye of the Hunter – A dreamy Waltz through the tale of seductress.
1. “Utopia” – from the album Ark – A glimmer of hope from someone who has been overwhelmed by all the hardships of life, and is still standing.


 

#5…Top 5 Albums of All Time July 12, 2010

You know an album has to make your Top 5 list if:
A) You love every single song on the album
B) You randomly hear a song from said album and when it ends, you immediately start singing the next song on the album
C) You don’t know how you got through life before hearing any or all of these songs
D) You think everyone under the sun should enjoy the album as much as you do, or at the very, least give it a try
E) All of the above.

I think the answer is obvious, but if you need clarification, the only possible answer is E) All of the above.

TNT’s #5
5. From Here To Infirmary by Alkaline Trio – This album gave me my first taste of Alkaline Trio.  Maybe it was my age, but for some reason every song made sense.  Musically and lyrically speaking, I feel that From Here To Infirmary is their greatest album.  I can’t even pick a favorite track off of this one, they’re all amazing.  Yet again, guitar slides and clever lyrics had me hooked.  If you’ve never listened to this album drop everything and buy it.

Angela’s #5
5. Just The Best Party by World/Inferno Friendship Society – This is a band I’ve followed around, gone to more shows than I can count, and gave me a sense of community within the underground punk scene.  But this is my favorite album by them. from start to finish it’s an incredible piece of work full of that upbeat, rebel class that only this band can convey.


Klone’s #5

5. Siamese Dream by The Smashing Pumpkins (1993) – This is easily one of the few select albums I can say I’m glad I was alive and aware of music when it was released.  Anyone who likes, nay loves Smashing Pumpkins cherishes this album because of its significance.  Even upon the first listening, you can feel the longevity of those tracks that would become classics among the foundation of this grunge-era monolith contemporary of the likes of Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden.  “Cherub Rock” changed me the first time I heard it, and is the single track that made “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock” a MUST HAVE for my Xbox 360 library, while tracks like “Today” and “Disarm” were instant pieces of musical history.  “Soma” was a track that served as my personal escape from the complexities of early adolescence, and was probably the single track that made me realize what an important and amazing album Siamese Dream was.


Mark’s #5

5. Dead Can Dance by Dead Can Dance – What do you get when two Australian punk-rockers move to England and start a band that melds tinges of punk with gothic, dark wave and world music?  This incredible debut album that is in a world all its own.  Their self-titled debut is a difficult record to classify; it can best be described as a melodic symphony of chaos sound, featuring drum programming, down tuned and at times, distorted guitars mixed with deeply resonating bass lines, heavy percussion, punk drumming and dulcimers thrown in for good measure.  Exhausting?  Yes, but it’s the fantastic mixture of genres and exotic melodies that draws me in and keeps me constantly fascinated.


Dan’s #5

5. Fantasies by Metric – It’s just a phenomenal album that has everything from upbeat, synthy rock to slower, darker songs.

Stigz’s #5
5. Blood Sugar Sex Magik by Red Hot Chili Peppers – One of the albums that put this band on the map – more so than Mother’s Milk – this album has some great feel good jams and some deep introspective tracks.  Solid all around.