Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dead Can Dance displays magic at Gibson Amphitheatre

Dead Can Dance: Lisa Gerrard, left, and Brendan Perry on Aug. 14, 2012.
  The triumphant return of Dead Can Dance displayed itself over the course of 19 magical and magnificent songs on Tuesday night (Aug. 14, 2012) in Universal City. More than 30 years after DCD was formed Down Under by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry, the duo have reunited to tour in support of a fantastic just-released album titled Anastasis. Backed by a fantastic five-member group, Gerrard and Perry showcased their genre-defying blend of art rock, ambient, Gregorian chant, Middle Eastern, Celtic, African and world folk music before an enthusiastic crowd at Gibson Amphitheatre. What the faithful heard - and I marveled at with every note - was a sound so beautiful and unique that time has not diminished its power and glory.

Opening with the first song on Anastasis, "Children of the Sun," Perry's mighty baritone rose above the haunting rhythm in what would be the first of many potent versions of new songs. With Anastasis being DCD's first new full-length studio album in more than 15 years, it was great to see that the duo's artistic powers remain flawless. Other highlights from the new disc included the hypnotic "Amnesia" and "All In Good Time," the latter featuring Perry' rich voice in a spectacular if somewhat melancholy tone.

Lovers of classic Dead Can Dance marveled at the brilliant version of "The Host of Seraphim," which is truly as powerful as any music recorded in the 20th century. Gerrard's voice filled the concert hall with the affecting song further adorned by Perry's low notes.

Later on the Renaissance-flavored "Dreams Made Flesh," Perry stood and intensely played a hammered dulcimer while Gerrard - standing to his left - sang using the full range of her emotive soprano. At times her voice used spoken word-like diction, while at other times it soared in wondrous flight.

Gerrard's otherworldly vocals impressed throughout the show.
Dead Can Dance ended their second encore with another new gem, the Celtic-styled "Return of the She-King," featuring Gerrard's vocals immersed in a symphonic sea of keyboards and gentle percussion. Then, to add depth and range, Perry sang solo before their voices joined in a joyous and lush finale.

Setlist: Dead Can Dance at the Gibson Amphitheatre, Universal City, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012

Main set: Children of the Sun / Anabasis / Rakim / Kiko / Lamma Bada / Agape / Amnesia / Sanvean / Nierika / Opium / The Host of Seraphim / Ime Prezakias / Now We Are Free / All In Good Time

Encore: The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove / Dreams Made Flesh

Encore 2: Song to the Siren (Tim Buckley cover) / Return of the She-King

Encore 3: Rising of the Moon

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