Wednesday, July 27, 2011

26 Jul 11 - The Dead Superheroes Orchestra preview

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's has an exclusive preview of a band just for you. Actually's not really a band. More like a thirty piece Gothic rock orchestra known as The Dead Superheroes Orchestra and they (along with a Russian folk choir and other vocalists) will be headlining The Abbey Pub this Friday July 29. Last night, this reviewer attended one of Dead's final rehearsals before the big night meeting composer/guitarist/vocalist Mark and drummer John. With the rest of the orchestra practicing elsewhere, this gave SouthSide an intimate look and feel of the orchestra acoustically as well as a sneak peek of what will be featured during the 75 minute set. And after hearing the semi-acoustic version of The Dead Superheroes Orchestra, she cannot wait to see the full production rockin' the stage and balcony (where the choir and vocalists will be stationed) of The Abbey.

You see, blogspot readers, this Orchestra (given its name) isn't like your ordinary phillharmonic or Chicago Symphony Orchestra though it does contain certain elements such as a stringed quartet and epic-sounding compositions full of melodies, staccatos, clips and a classical vocalist. What sets this Orchestra apart from all others is the Gothic nature and dark themes of death and grief hauntingly written as a musical. And composer, Mark Winton has beautifully captured it within his music. Before practice, she asked what inspired him to began an orchestra of this unique magnitude to which he stated his time studying music composition at University of Chicago and for a year with a reknown Polish composer ...also he wrote a narrative ballet however he's more into dark rock and Gothic music in the style of HIM, Vast and Rasputina (coincidentially The Dead Superheroes Orchestra opened for them last year at The Abbey, blogspot readers).

Mark and John then performed a few song selections for SouthSide giving her a tiny acoustic sampe of Dead's music and sound. She enjoyed the mythological themes (channeling Greek and a hint of Dante) within the melodic The Dream but on the flipside, That Sunday featured a harder but intense rock tone. Both songs are off Dead's first CD - I'll Spend My Nights in the Graveyard. This reviewer easily picked on the elements of Dead's storytelling musical when Mark sang in third person or as the character as heard in The Year Before I Turned 13 (off the new CD - The Last Superhero). Plus they also performed a song from Mark's next musical composition which has a Mary Shelly's Frankenstein-like theme about a man who loses his daughter due to a fire and tries to rebuild her body part by body part. The song from this composition, Vex, featured some heart-wrenching emotions of grief, sadness and the sense of not being able to find comfort after a tragic loss heard within Mark's intense vocal style. He was recently awarded a Community Arts Assistance Program (CAAP) from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs that will be used to record and produce the full length (12 tracks) version of his Frankenstein story (with a pending release date for December), blogspot readers. After listening to the zany side of Dead Superheroes in its Overture to The Last Superhero, this reviewer was looking forward to the full scale performance happening Friday with the rest of orchestra and choir.

SouthSide highly suggests grabbing a copy of Dead Superheroes' current CD titled I'll Spend My Nights in the Graveyard (grey CD) and picking up the new one, The Last Superhero (red CD). However, when listening to both, you might get the sense the story (or song order) is incorrect ...and you would be right. Yet playing the new CD in the reverse order (3, 2, and 1) and then listening to current CD in this order 3, 1 and 2, you'll hear the story of The Last Superhero. Or better yet, head to The Abbey Friday to witness the entire 1st Act of The Dead Superheroes Orchestra's live production with SouthSide.

For more information about The Dead Superheroes Orchestra, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

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