That’s right! Dead Can Dance is one of toese cult bands that everybody should be listening. After their tremendous performance in 2019, Dead Can Dance came back to Belgrade, Serbia, only this time playing in Štark Arena on March 12th 2022. This was actually the very first concert I went to after this goddamn pandemic. And it was worth it!!! You can check out our photos from the show here and make sure to follow our photographer Artnokmas
I discovered Dead Can Dance through Gorguts’ guitarist, Steeve Hurdle (REST IN PEACE, LEGEND!). The rest is history. Dead Can Dance is currently on tour with Jules Maxwell, who is by the way, on double duty as support and a keyboardist of Dead Can Dance. So the story is the following: my partner in crime, Bojana (Artnokmas) and I went there a bit before the start of the show. And for a metal guy like me, it was a bit odd to watch the concert from the seats (the last time I did that was at The Residents concert). As Jules Maxwell was playing, the Štark Arena was already semi-full. His music was a perfect match for all the romantic souls who enjoy love songs (and love songs only). He performed alone while playing his keyboards. Maxwell’s performance was flawless! He played 7 or 8 songs but I think he was overshadowed by the greatness of Dead Can Dance for obvious reasons.
As far as Dead Can Dance is concerned, it was really interesting to see the crowd that they drew to the show. You could literally see metalheads with Sleep and Dissection T-shirts, Gothic people, fancy teenagers, and boomers alike. Dead Can Dance goes to the stage! The crowd goes nuts! This time, they performed as a 7-piece. And once the show started….I swear to god! It was one of the most chilling moments I have ever witnessed, being at countless concerts. The concert was opened by Yulunga (Spirit Dance). Goddamn! If you ask me! That was the best moment of the entire show! I never got so many chills going through my spine while witnessing all of that! Miss Lisa Gerrard is simply one of the best singers of our time! Her vocal cords can reach the stars! And the thing about this song is that it transports you to ancient/medieval Middle East, to the time of long-forgotten empires. This is the closest Dead Can Dance can get to the Gladiator soundtrack, on which Lisa Gerrard’s memorable vocals left a tremendous mark. Ridley Scott could have brought this track to the Kingdom of Heaven, and it would have fit perfectly! The percussions and rattles have deepened the epicness of this track! They could have walked off after the first song, and it would still be the best concert ever! And I gotta say that the studio version is miles away from the greatness of its live arrangements! The next track on the list was "Amnesia", a chilling ballad from the Anastasis album and the first time we heard Brendan Perry’s voice! The 3rd one was "Mesmerism" from Spleen and Ideal album. And boy, this one was so good! Gotta love those epic chants! And as the title suggests, this one was simply mesmerizing! The band proceeded by bringing forth Middle-eastern vibes and moody vibes by performing "The Ubiquitous Mr. Love Grove". Lisa Gerrard would occasionally leave the stage and let Brendan sing and vice versa. This duo always knows how to balance things out at the end of the day. The band then proceeded with "Persian Song – The Sliver Gun" , another song in which Lisa Gerrard’s voice shines! After that, they played one of their timeless classics – "In Power We Entrust the Love Advocated" . And this one sounds better live when compared to the studio version! No doubt about it! And then, they went directly to another striking one – "Avatar". Ah, the heaviness of this song…! Once again, Lisa nailed it!
Then, the band started to play "The Carnival is Over". Jeez! This one hits big time! It’s another one that sounds better live…After that, they played "Cantara", an amazing song from the 1987 Within the Realm of the Dying Sun album. This one was so hypnotic! The band then went tribal with "Opium". The hang drums (or to be more precise, the keyboard effect) were breathtaking! I really loved this one! It’s one of those songs where Brendan Perry’s voice touched every soul in Belgrade’s Štark Arena. They then started playing another masterpiece – "Sanvean (I am Your Shadow)". If you didn’t get chills down the spine from this one, you are not considered a human being! Afterwards, Dead Can Dance delivered "Dance of the Bacchantes". This one was yet another culmination point of the entire concert – Epic chants, Middle Eastern vibes, and a berimbau just to spice things up even more! I mean, how many times could you hear a berimbau live? Maybe at a Soulfly concert and here at Dead Can Dance. That my friends was a PURE ECSTASY!!! Going forth, they played "Bylar" , a "bamboleo" song. It’s one of those tracks that have a medieval vibe to it, and that sounds great live! After that, Dead Can Dance delivered yet another stellar track – "Black Sun". As the time was running up, the band started "The Host of Seraphim" – yet another breathtaking track in which Lisa Gerrard sent shivers down our spines! The band then disappeared from the stage. The next thing you see is my friend coming to me and saying "I fell asleep!" . I died laughing! I was laughing for at least 5 minutes straight. Made my day even more!
Then the band came back to do the encore. And of course, they started it with "Children of the Sun" to the crowd’s amazement. Another high-end moment of the show! The 2nd song of the encore was "The Wind that Shakes the Barley". Sweet, sweet poem. The concert was closed by "Severance".
The crowd was enjoying every second of the show! You could just take a look at the audience and see some girl losing her mind throughout the entire set. And it’s funny to see a die-hard fan "bellydancing“ while sitting! Some fans were literally falling into a trance, mimicking every note Dead Can Dance was playing! On that night, Dead Can Dance was giving 100% of themselves on stage. Everything sounded perfect and flawless! And it seems that they also loved the crowd. All in all, this was a night to remember! A dance macabre in which Dead Can Dance proved their worth! To all people who missed this show, I must say the following: You missed a spectacle!
Dead Can Dance – Live in Belgrade, Serbia (Štark Arena 12.05.2022) setlist: