Saturday, Feb 8
8pm $29 adv, $34 door
10pm $21 adv, $26 door
After breaking through in the late ‘90s with his Top 20 single “Barely Breathing,” Duncan Sheik spent much of the subsequent decade taking a breather from the usual rock singer/songwriter rituals. His focus was on albums that broke with pop music conventions and, additionally, theatrical musicals like Spring Awakening, the Broadway sensation that won him 2 Tony Awards and a Grammy. As he explains this lengthy diversion now: “After a while you get boring to everyone else, but you get really bored with yourself. There was a moment where I was much more interested in these kind of longer narrative arcs, and being able to sing from the perspective of somebody else’s persona, as opposed to Duncan Sheik’s.”
His new album(s) splits the difference. Sheik makes his long-awaited return to singing stand-alone pop songs, but he hasn’t given up his recent habit of inhabiting characters. In this case, though, the characters are Morrissey, Robert Smith, Martin Gore, and David Sylvian. Duncan Sheik Covers 80s, released in 2011, features twelve of his highly personalized takes on the synth-pop era, including smashes and obscurities from the likes of the Cure, New Order, Tears for Fears, the Smiths, the Psychedelic Furs, the Thompson Twins, Love & Rockets, Howard Jones, Japan, Talk Talk, and the Blue Nile.