With just over a year since the release of their newest album, Afterburner, Dance Gavin Dance came through Minneapolis during an almost sold-out tour. This is Dance Gavin Dance’s first set of tours since rescheduling due to the pandemic shutdowns last year.
Starting the night off was Wolf & Bear, from Sacramento, California. Their stage presence was actually very similar to a more toned-down version of Dance Gavin Dance. The clean vocalist and screamer worked the stage well and this band definitely gives me some old Emarosa with Jonny Craig vibes.
Their set was smooth and poppy. Seeing their vocalists Marcus Cisneros and Tyler Watt dance on stage and have fun sure helped hype up the crowd for the remaining bands. I wish their set had been longer but never hearing them before, I was really impressed with their performance and am excited to see more of them in the future.
Next up was Eidola from Salt Lake City, Utah giving an energetic performance that was exciting to watch. Their guitarist, Sergio Medina, had so much energy on stage and if his curly head of hair didn’t draw attention, his bright performance would.
This tour was full of new music coming from not only Dance Gavin Dance, but Eidola released their album, The Architect this year and Andrew Wells’s vocals on this album are really raw but controlled and polished. I’ve never seen them live before and it definitely gave me a new appreciation for their technical abilities and for a metal lineup, I found myself grooving and dancing a lot with these bands.
Following Eidola, some friends from the midwest, Veil of Maya, performed and I was happy to see that some of the band members were wearing masks on stage tonight throughout the evening. Veil of Maya is always exciting and fulfilling to photograph and watch because they use the stage really well and always give great performances.
One of the best parts about seeing Veil of Maya for me is how clean their vocalist, Lukas Magyar’s high screams are and how much energy he has on stage. They incorporate technical complexity into their writing but the band’s overall vibe on stage is relaxed and fun and they make it look so easy.
Mixing up the lineup a little by not having a vocalist, Polyphia brought a different energy to The Fillmore. It’s hard not to dance along to Polyphia when you hear them play. Similar to Veil of Maya, they make their clean and technical playing look light and simple.
The best way for me to explain Polyphia’s sound is smooth and groovy. Everyone around me was swaying and feeling the music. Throwing in a “sing this next one with me” during the set and making the crowd smile, Polyphia helped hype everyone up for Dance Gavin Dance and their energy spread throughout the crowd.
When Dance Gavin Dance hit the stage, The Fillmore absolutely erupted and the people in front of me were literally shaking with excitement. Unfortunately, Dance Gavin Dance’s vocalist, Tilian Pearson, wasn’t able to perform tonight after testing positive for Covid-19. I was really disappointed to hear he wouldn’t be there since he’s always a ton of fun to watch on stage.
However, Andrew Wells filled in tonight and gave a killer performance that was different than Tilian’s would have been, but he really fit in with the band and represented them well. He worked hard singing in two sets today and it was cool to see him adapt his style.
Guitarist of Veil of Maya, Marc Okubo even came on stage to play a song with Dance Gavin Dance. Throughout the performance, their energy didn’t stagger. Vocalist Jon Mess is another joy to watch because he’s always smiling and when he’s not singing, he’s dancing and moving around the stage.
I really do wish that Dance Gavin Dance had played “Summertime Gladness” since it’s fun to sing along to and one of my personal favorites. When they played “Headhunter” though, it definitely gave off a similar vibe and their performance of “Evaporate” was powerful and melodic.
At the end of the set, Dance Gavin Dance played an encore performance that I’m glad I stuck around for. The lights played well with their final song and during the slower, smoother sections, white lights twinkled onto the chandeliers on the ceiling, creating an ambiance that set the tone and wrapped the night up to bring everything together in a moving way.
This show created a space with a lot of singing and dancing in The Fillmore and seeing how people knew every song in a set or were wearing merch for one of the bands playing tonight was heartwarming; people were visibly excited to see this performance and it didn’t disappoint.