A little more than one year after their last performance in Nottingham, American post-hardcore Dance Gavin Dance return to Rescue Rooms, this time promoting their upcoming unnamed album.
Both support bands for the UK/EU leg of their tour, Thousand Below and Veil of Maya, did an excellent job in hyping up the crowd for the main act. Veil of Maya’s set felt like a sonic barrage; the band did not pause between any of the songs, which sometimes just seemed to flow seamlessly from one to another. While this definitely kept the audience on the edge of their (nonexistent) seats, it also prevented them from catching a breath between the band’s very powerful performances. Danny and Marc (bassist and guitarist, respectively) engaged the audience flawlessly, often switching sides of the stage to please all the fans. Ending with ‘Mikasa’, the band proved that their most recent addition, vocalist Lukas Magyar, is here to stay.
“They acknowledged the claps from the audience”
The first Dance Gavin Dance members to enter the stage were Matt, the drummer, and Will, the lead guitarist, setting up their gear. In their very humble nature, they acknowledged the claps from the audience by simply smiling back. Shortly after, Tim, the bassist, and Joey, the touring guitarist, joined in to complete the soundcheck. The room proceeded to become pitch dark as the band members left and then entered the stage again, this time with vocalists Jon Mess (unclean vocals) and Tilian Pearson (clean vocals).
The band kicked off their set by playing the first track off their latest album (‘Mothership’, 2016), ‘Chucky vs. The Giant Tortoise’. The song was instantly identified by the crowd, who began singing along from the first chord. Dance Gavin Dance then followed up with two more songs from ‘Mothership’, ‘Frozen One’ and ‘Young Robot’. A nice surprise to everyone in the audience was the inclusion of ‘Me and Zoloft Get Along Just Fine’ from their 2008 self-titled record, which was originally recorded with a different vocalist (Kurt Travis). Tilian managed to overcome the expectations set by his predecessor, and the crowd absolutely exploded during the chorus.
The atmosphere throughout the night was one of positivity and friendliness. Tilian often humbly thanked the crowd for the support, while Jon kept a strong sense of humour throughout (culminating in him doing the Macarena during the last song). Veil of Maya’s guitarist Marc Okubo would often reappear from the backstage during Dance Gavin Dance’s set, welcomed by the band; this affectionate interaction between the various bands was definitely appreciated by the audience. Even though moshing would commonly happen during every song (as expected from a post-hardcore gig), most fans were very respectful both of the band and of each other; security thus never had to get involved, and no one got injured.
“The upcoming album (along with its release date) remains a mystery”
Between each song in the set, instrumental interludes recalling the melody of the song to follow would play. This continuous tease kept the audience pumped, as they were ready to jump right into the next song. After playing tracks from both ‘Acceptance Speech’ (2013) and ‘Instant Gratification’ (2015) (the other two albums on which Tilian recorded vocals), the band went on to play ‘Summertime Gladness’, their latest single. The encore marked the end of the gig, with the band playing ‘Stroke God, Millionaire’. With no unreleased songs played and no references to any possible future single release, the upcoming album (along with its release date) remains a mystery, at least for now.
Riccardo Di Maio
Images Courtesy of Riccardo Di Maio