Dear Leader rises up, with feeling

Dear Leader rises up, with feeling

Singer and guitarist Aaron Perrino of Dear Leader performs Friday at the Paradise. Singer and guitarist Aaron Perrino of Dear Leader performs Friday at the Paradise. (Emily Jones)
By Jonathan Perry
Globe Correspondent / January 20, 2009

The drama began and ended with that voice wrapping itself around the songs, enveloping them completely even as it thrust them skyward, holding them to the light. You could have called the voice a force of nature or an emotional lightning rod that, when it struck, froze listeners in their tracks, and seized them. It was something that the people who packed the Paradise were drawn to hear, no matter what song it was singing.

The voice belonged to singer Aaron Perrino, late of the mercurially melodramatic Sheila Divine, and for the last five years and three albums, frontman of Dear Leader, a Somerville-based outfit also given to anthems about hiding in daylight and living in the dark corners of the mind. Friday night's show featured standout performances not only from the evening's headliners, but from Hallelujah the Hills and Faces on Film, two remarkably distinct up-and-coming outfits that together constituted a heady example of Boston's most promising bands.

But this was Dear Leader's night, and the band did not disappoint. The foursome, which also included guitarist Will Claflin, bassist Jon Sulkow, and drummer Paul Buckley, is at work on its fourth album. Judging from the handful of bracing new tunes previewed - the twin epics "Dark Confessions" and "Heart Hangs Low" among them - Perrino's preoccupations of the head and heart haven't shifted dramatically in the two-plus years since Dear Leader's last album, "The Alarmist."

When it is done sincerely and well, pop music can always use a larger-than-life meditation on the smallness of being alone, or the struggle for connection in a crowded room. Perrino, bespectacled and bookish, with the look of a guy picked last for dodgeball in middle school, has never been afraid to write those kinds of searching songs, or sing them.

So the U2-ish "Everyone Looks Better in the Dark" (truth be told, not a few of Dear Leader's songs suggest the work of U2, Perrino's biggest influence) was a tender tornado, gathering momentum with each verse. The encore-closing "Labor On" was similarly lovely, a quietly anguished lament that built and crested, inexorably as so many of Dear Leader's songs do, to a majestic climax.

Preceding Dear Leader Friday night was the six-piece Hallelujah the Hills, led by singer-guitarist Ryan Walsh. Accented by cello and brass, HTH delivered a dynamically charged set of literate indie rock that filtered the free-associative wordplay of Guided By Voices through the antediluvian old-time feel of the Decemberists. Although the band opened with an out-of-tune rendering of Petula Clark's "Downtown" that proved a misstep, it soon headed for the hills and never looked back.

Faces on Film, led by singer-guitarist Mike Fiore, kicked up dust and diamonds with a set of stark, spooky, and altogether sparkling Gothic folk songs designed to unnerve. Both plan and execution worked magnificently well.

19:00 Gepost door the1stwarrior in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (3) |  Facebook |


Meer foto's

Aaron Perrino of Dear Leader, Paradise Rock Club, January 16, 2009. Photo by Sooz / Exploit Boston!

Meer afbeeldingen van het concert in The Paradise via onderstaande link waar tevens een vermelding staat van Better In The Dark!

Thx Pipo!

19:22 Gepost door the1stwarrior in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |


Pictures Dear Leader @ The Paradise 16/01

Thx Angela Frissore

12:57 Gepost door the1stwarrior in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (2) |  Facebook |


Preview nieuwe Dear Leader Single

Wat mij betreft een zeer sterk voorsmaakje daar vraagt naar meer!

07:42 Gepost door the1stwarrior in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (1) |  Facebook |


Dear Leader terug in de studio

Maandag 5 januari gaat iedereen terug werken zo ook Dear Leader. Ze duiken terug in de studio voor het opnemen van een nieuwe volledige CD.

Dit zijn alvast nieuwe werktitels voor de CD:
- All the beauty
- Heart Hangs Low
- When the lights show up the kids disappear
- Watch for Falling Things
- Dark Confessions
- Barbarianism
- Going Going Gonzo

More to come...                                                                                                                                                    soon...                                                                                     

16:56 Gepost door the1stwarrior in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (4) |  Facebook |