The Verse’s Alex Berdugo reviews Dance Gavin Dance’s show at the Haunt, Brighton on 4th November.
The supporting band Good Tiger set the mood perfectly for the night ahead: thumping double bass pedals, high pitched vocals and a strong post-hardcore attitude. The band played their tracks such as Snake Oil faithfully to record, obviously well-rehearsed and tight. Bassist Morgan Sinclair provided the surprisingly groovy bass lines behind the screaming lead and rhythm guitar lines from Derya Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles. The drum kit, played by Alex Rüdinger, was gloriously large, adding thunderous tones in the back lines of the music. Singer Elliot Coleman was a superb frontman, dominating the venue with a commanding stage presence and piercingly high notes. However, his movement seemed slightly melodramatic and he was noticeably not completely in tune that night. Good Tiger are worth seeing if you are a fan of their debut album A Head Full Of Moonlight, but otherwise it may be best to look elsewhere.
The members (some founding, some not) took to the stage around 9pm and immediately the atmosphere felt electric. The sound technician had cranked the volume and the wall of noise was tremendous. There was a surge from the crowd to get to the front as the first chords were hit; I’ve never seen a mosh pit form so quickly, it must have been some sort of a record.
Tilian Pearson was an exceptional vocalist right off the bat, flawlessly hitting his notes and holding hands with audience members brave enough to be at the edge of the stage. Third singer in the band since 2005, he certainly proved his worth. The band themselves supported Pearson expertly, each a phenomenal instrumentalist in their own way. Will Swan (guitarist) was particularly awe-inspiring to watch, his hands flying across the fretboard at superhuman speed.
After four or five songs, Pearson left the stage to make place for guest vocalist Kurt Travis. Travis was the band’s singer between 2007 and 2010, creating a new excitement amongst the crowd to see him again. To say his stage presence was energetic would be an understatement: he seemed to stage dive every couple of songs and somehow never ran out of breath. The band were visibly pleased to be jamming with their old vocalist once again.
Only a few songs after this, ANOTHER guest appearance was made. Jonny Craig, founding member and singer of Dance Gavin Dance, made an entrance and the audience was ecstatic. After making music as a solo artist, it was clear that he was more than welcome making a comeback with his original band. He sang just as well as the night’s previous two frontmen, feeding off the energy of the numerous crowd surfers and fierce mosh pits.
To finish the gig, Dance Gavin Dance brought on all three of their singers. They played a small collection of their most popular songs, including their high-spirited hit Young Robot.
Overall it was a fantastic performance from the band. I have never felt the floor of a nightclub shake from the motion of the crowd until this gig, it was truly an experience.