I am a child of darkness. I try to pretend I am upbeat and optimistic, and I am... usually. I also like the things that go bump in the night, the ghouls, the witches, and indeed, I like DEAD CAN DANCE. I've been listening to them since before I bought my first stick of black lipstick from Utopia (aw, a LONG ISLAND reference!). They aren't necessarily "GOTH" to me though... I always perceived them as more sophisticated than that.
They are world travelers who glory in the sounds and aural textures of Middle Eastern, Gypsy, Celtic, Indian, and Arabic music (and many more cultures no doubt). They blend old world instrumentation and modern day synthesizers to create a truly unique and modern yet historically rich sound. You can't NOT undulate to the beats of Dead Can Dance, you can't NOT fall under a hypnotic rhythmic spell when you listen to them. Not only are the instrumentations generated enthralling but the sounds produced by female lead singer Lisa Gerrard are so enchanting they make me think she is Titania reborn! As if her honeyed vocals weren't intriguing enough- I only just recently realized she isn't speaking any "true" words at all- she is in fact singing in her own language or "idioglossia" as I have come to learn!
The crowds were swathed in all black and black fishnet, the scent of Djarum Clove cigarettes was heavy in the air. I saw more nests of unruly black hair then I've seen in a long time, old weathered gothic patrons up to the hot-topic generations were all in attendance. What really did my heart good were the older more subdued Gothparents bringing their spawn to listen to Dead Can Dance. I pictured them as babies in black & grey striped swaddling rags being rocked to sleep in an Addam's Family-esque bassinet while "The Spider's Stratagem" played softly in the back ground. Now, here they are, maybe no more than 10 years old, decked out in a skull tshirt and black denim pants holding on to their refined subtly goth mom's hand as the descend to their seats. It was touching, really.
Sitting in Beacon Theater and listening to Dead Can Dance was a pleasure, but I have to admit it was hard not to get up and dance. To be honest, I am shocked that no one actually got off of their velvet seats to vamp out. The sounds were delicious though, maybe we were choosing to feast and enjoy rather than become enraptured in dance? I am not sure. They were very on-key and played well, the percussion section did a particularly marvelous job, and Lisa Gerrard had us all in awe. Her voice, her voice carried into the rafters, her voice hypnotized and seduced us into a captivated silence. We only "huzzahed" when a song was at its close. I liken listening to Dead Can Dance to being under the influence of a sorceresses incantations. I am still unsure of how I left the theater, got on a train, and made it home- and no- I was NOT drunk. I just couldn't stop hearing their music in my head!
Children of the Sun
The Host of Seraphim
Now We Are Free
All in Good Time
The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove
Dreams Made Flesh
Song to the Siren (Tim Buckley cover)
Return of the She-King
Rising of the Moon