@Academy 2, Newcastle 09/11/2016
On a depressing election night in Newcastle, seven Americans and a Canadian managed to raise morale among the excellent crowd – at least for a night.
It’s been 10 years since Dance Gavin Dance first formed and the group treated the audience to a living, breathing timeline of their legacy as past singers Jonny Craig and Kurt Travis took their turns on stage.
It made for a slightly disjointed affair but that didn’t matter as the old classics got a roaring reception – among them Tree Village and Lemon Meringue Tie. Craig and Travis may have the stage energy that current clean vocalist Tilian Pearson lacks but his delivery makes for more varied and deliciously contrasting experience.
Two singers and four band members made for a cramped stage at the Academy 2, but Pearson still found room for his snakehips as the singer looked more than a member of a boy band than the leader of a post-hardcore band – but this just seemed to enhance the rough and smooth effect of the band.
DGD have just released their seventh studio album, Mothership, but despite this they only featured one song from their latest record – Chucky vs The Giant Tortoise and Betrayed By The Game, while Pearson spearheaded the best tunes from their previous three records as Stroke God, Millionaire, On The Run and Strawberry Swisher Pt 3 got a well received airing.
For the encore Dance Gavin Dance ended up with four singers on the stage, ending up feeling like the most bizarre boy band to ever step foot on a stage – but in the 10 year anniversary spirit it worked wonders.
Craig and Travis vacated the stage for the last song of the evening, We Own The Night, as the setlist reverted to the one that had created the last three – excellent – albums. It was a good touch and a nice throwback to earlier times, but with Pearson and dirty vocalist Jon Mess they have a combination they should cherish. Long may it stay that way.