Diary of Dreams

Live at The Key Club

Hollywood, CA 07/07/2006

Review by Travis Baumann

Diary of Dreams finally play America. After years of listening to them and getting to see them twice over seas, both times at the awesome Wave Gotik Treffen, the band was finally venturing to this side of the ocean for a limited tour.

The Key Club was packed this night as the Los Angeles based Industrial Goth scene was hungry for this kind of talent.

Where as Sisters of Mercy were the genre's founding path finders, the mantle has been successfully picked up by a new breed of mood intensive artists, Diary of Dreams leading that pack. Having been releasing albums since 1994, they had a huge back cataloge of material to pick from.

Their latest release was "Nigredo" but the majority of the set came from previous albums. The band has had a number of personnel changes over the years but the one necessarily consitant member is master-mind Adrian Hates.

The set-list covered so many great songs of theirs such as more recent releases like "Giftraum", "Soul Stripper", "She", and "O' Brother Sleep".

Some of the largest reactions were garnered from some slightly older tracks like "Chemicals" and the encore hit "Butterfly Dance!". My personal favorite song of the night was "The Curse" which is a really awesome haunting song but I also loved "Chemicals" nearly as much. I am pretty sure they also did "Amok", "MenschFeind" and "Ex-ile" but with such a long set and so many years worth of albums to cover  I lost track of everything played.

The lighting was dark and moody with a large screen above the band and a live feed projected on to it. Even the balcony was packed even though their tables have an insanely expensive minimum bill just to partake in that part of the venue.

Adrian is a fairly static lead singer as he also plays guitar for most songs of the set. In addition, his now regular guitar player sporting his signature tall mohawk also handled back up vocals. A live drummer and keyboardist rounded out the stage and sound.

For me the most impacting and therefore important part of the Diary of Dreams experience are the vocals, as Adrian's voice rides the perfect razor's edge of haunting, melodic, deep, and melancholy yet powerful. It truly is a Gothic voice and for me it really stirs the soul.

His voice sounded crystal clear this night and spot on. It is always a special thing to see someone of such talent doing songs that you have listened to for years right in front you and it was nice to get to see them in our own home town for a change.

The entire band sounded perfect and the Key Club is such an intimate venue that it is easy to experience the band from nearly anywhere. I don't recall any opening band what so ever so if there was one, they were soon forgotton once Diary of Dreams took the stage.  I wish more shows would come through of this nature, awesome European acts without a huge bog-down of lesser bands taking from their set time.  

It was great to watch them for what seemed like over two hours. It was also reassuring to see the show so packed, as recently the legendary Laibach played the same venue without openers and there was not half the turn-out as there was for Diary of Dreams, but that could be as much the promotion side as the night of the week.

It was a great show and I look forward to seeing Diary of Dreams again whether here or in Europe, but hopefully they do not take as long to come back here as it took for them to make it this first time.

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