Dance Gavin Dance performed at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on a Wednesday night in Toronto. Coming off releasing their latest album Jackpot Juicer last month, they recently were removed as openers for Coheed and Cambria’s headlining tour. This caused the band to make a last-minute tour which is A Evening With Friends headlining tour with Body Thief and Royal Coda as the opening bands. Despite this changeup, it was a full house in a hot and sweaty venue due for an electrifying night of music.
Post-rock band Body Thief was the first opener of the night. The Baltimore-based band showed their impressive post-hardcore sound in their 5-song setlist. Lead vocalist Daniel Hawkins had a fabulous stage presence; by the end of their 2nd song, “Ego Displacement,” Daniel jumped into the photo pit and interacted with the crowd. His energy and the band’s playmaking certainly gained many new fans after the show.
Daniel Hawkins – Lead vocalist
Sebastian Ramos – Drummer
Greg Chipkin – Guitarist
Walt Umana – Bass
1. Night Owls In Mating Season
2. Ego Displacement
4. Death, Drugs, and Dancing / Get Lucky (Daft Punk cover)
Royal Coda followed Body Thief as the next opener, and the crowd got even more excited. It has been four years since the last time the Sacramento-based band visited Toronto, so it was no surprise the crowd was ecstatic to see them return to the Ontario capital. It was a fun 7-song setlist that featured songs from their latest album To Only A Few At First released last week. The opening song, “We Slowly Lose Hope For Things To Come” showcased Kurt Travis’s powerful vocals and guitarist Sergio Medina’s intricate guitar work. The energy from Kurt and Sergio was thrilling from beginning to end, which set up the mood for Dance Gavin Dance coming up next.
Kurt Travis – Lead vocalist
Sergio Medina – Guitarist
Joseph Arrington – Drummer
Will Swan – Guitarist
Steffen Gotsch – Bass
1. We Slowly Hope For Things To Come
2. Numbing Agent
3. Even If
4. All In Question
5. Screen Time Overload
6. Becoming The Memory
7. Cut Me Under
The stage was set up with artworks of all Dance Gavin Dance studio albums with colourful stage lights. Then the lights on the crowd dims dark that cued the signs that Dance Gavin Dance is about to perform. Drummer Matthew Mingus walked to his drums and waved to the excited audience before the rest of the members approached onstage. “And I Told Them I Invented Times New Roman” was the perfect song to start as Andrew Wells delivered compelling clean vocals while exchanging screams with Jon Mess, who sounded incredible from the start. Crowd surfing immediately started as Dance Gavin Dance began playing, creating an amazing atmosphere.
Although Dance Gavin Dance’s 15-song setlist was played under a lower pitch than usual to match Andrew Well’s vocals, it did not bother the audience at all as they sang every word to the fullest. The setlist felt like a dream to old fans who have been with the band from the start. They played new songs from their new album Jackpot Juicer, such as “Synergy” and “Pop Off!”. In addition, however, they performed old favourites such as “Blue Dream” from Downtown Battle Mountain Part II, and “Acceptance Speech” from the album of the same name. The night’s highlight was Kurt Travis joining Andrew Wells and Jon Mess onstage to play the ultimate fan favourite, “Uneasy Hearts Weigh The Most” from their self-titled album.
The night ended with Dance Gavin Dance performing fan favourites from their recent albums, such as “Inspire The Liars” and “Evaporate” before coming back onstage for an encore performance of “Rock Solid” with Kurt Travis. Ultimately, it was an unforgettable night of great music, with the audience pondering the next Dance Gavin Dance show in Toronto.
Andrew Wells – Clean and unclean vocals
Jon Mess – Unclean vocals
Will Swan – Guitarist
Sergio Medina – Bass
Matthew Mingus – Drummer
1. And I Told Them I Invented Times New Roman
2. Chucky vs. The Giant Tortoise
5. Pounce Bounce
6. Pop Off!
7. Acceptance Speech
8. Uneasy Hearts Weigh The Most (with Kurt Travis)
9. Carl Baker (with Kurt Travis)
10. Strawberry’s Wake
11. Blue Dream
12. We Own The Night
13. Inspire The Liars
15. Rock Solid (with Kurt Travis)
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Andrew Wu is a music photographer based in Toronto, Canada. His work focuses on capturing and documenting special moments of performers during concerts and various events. His photos have been featured such as music publications in Spill Magazine, Imprint Entertainment, and Patchchord News. In 2020, he completed his BFA in photography at OCAD University.
Andrew is a massive fan of music, as he enjoys a variety of genres such as pop, alternative, rock, hardcore, and metal.