A blog about arts and societies around the world

Dead Can Dance at Le Zenith

Hot like a sauna! That was surely the first thing that came to everyone’s mind at Le Zenith’s lobby in Paris. Dead Can Dance gave a second concert in the French capital in less than a year.

DCD is a band that would require its own genre. They don’t really fit in any box. Over the years they have blended influences from Asia, the Middle East or Europe with a touch of gothic vibes. And to make it more complex, their music has significantly evolved since their early work from the 80s. Every piece is quite unique.

When you embark on such intensive a tour as DCD has done for the past year, the challenge is to reinvent yourself every time. DCD is a band that usually sticks more or less to the same setlist for a whole tour. However, two concerts in the same city in a short period of time should be more successful with a little bit of variation. There will always be many hardcore fans (which I consider myself to be) that will attend every single date.

On this last day of June, DCD played a reshuffled set of songs from their previous performance at Le Grand Rex in September 2012. Only two new songs, namely Black Sun and Saltarello, made it to the setlist. It did give myself and a few others legitimate goosebumps but that’s slightly disappointing, considering the band’s career has spanned over three decades.

The whole of the latest album Anastasis (minus Anabasis) was played. The same older anthems were to be heard as well (Enigma of the Absolute, Rakim or Nierika). The prize for “best surprising act” had to go to the keyboardist when he played the introductive chords of Sanvean too early. That’s pretty much it. The rest could have been easily anticipated.


The minimalistic lights were pretty cool. It touched on dreamy blue notes at times. Moving psychedelic patterns or blurry cloudy shapes appeared every now and then. It was so minimal that it almost felt like we’d been teleported to a 80s teen party a couple of times though.

On another note, it’s worth mentioning that the performance was not too much ear-damaging. It’s become a rare thing these days with many performances getting close to 110 dB or 120 dB (known as “the threshold of pain” in acoustics). Tonight the overall volume level remained around 90 dB, which is very decent.

Overall no one could really complain and I’m pretty sure no one did. Yes of course, I would have liked to watch something a little more risky but a DCD concert is always special no matter what. Were they to play the same set again in the near future, I would most likely catch them again. That’s how desperate a fan I am.

Catch their performance at Coachella 2013:


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