Black Heart Procession Richards on Richards, Vancouver BC - April 11, 2003
Published Jan 01, 2006The 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.