Black Heart Procession Richards on Richards, Vancouver BC - April 11, 2003

Black Heart Procession Richards on Richards, Vancouver BC - April 11, 2003
The members of Black Heart Procession could have been mistaken for a muddle of lost characters from a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel rather than a San Diego rock band. In fact, Black Heart's set was almost entirely based around their fourth album, Amore del Tropico, the band's first concept record — a soundtrack to an imaginary Latin American murder mystery. More upbeat than their three previous numerically-titled albums, Amore still conveys the dark, somewhat ominous Black Heart sound. However, the live show, like the new album, managed to probe into several genres — from Latin to calypso, country to classical — all without disappearing into a murky fog. In the Black Heart tradition, the show featured the layering of both conventional and non-conventional sounds and instrumentation that together created a macabre but beautiful tropical atmosphere. Built around piano and organ, stand-up bass, drums, violin and limited guitar, the show's highlights were indisputably Pall Jenkins' talented bow work on a saw. Throughout the set there was little movement onstage or interaction with the small but devoted crowd, just the construction and deconstruction of spine-tingling, slow-moving textures that were both eerie and surreal. Then, almost as dark and beautifully as it began, the show seemed to too quickly come to an end — the sad consequence of the club's ridiculous early curfew to allow for the descent of the Top 40 weekend warriors.