Dance Gavin Dance performed a 13 song set to a sold-out crowd at Mercury Ballroom in Louisville, KY on June 16, 2018.
From the time they took the stage to the first and second encore, Dance Gavin Dance commanded the space like true professionals. Though the instrumentalists of the band do not move as much, vocalists Tilian Pearson and Jon Mess keep the crowd engaged. Pearson, with his signature hip gyrations and Mess, often dancing in a similar fashion, even playfully imitating the “Macarena.”
Dance Gavin Dance’s stage production is simple, yet incredibly adequate including only a large scrim and 4 sets of lights. The band seems to focus more on the sonic side of the performance which shows – especially in songs like “Chucky” where the rhythm sections are as tight as can be. The only “off” thing about the set is the transitional music between songs, which often does not flow with the following piece – though it does keep you guessing what they will perform next.
Guitarist Will Swan effortlessly glides his way through leads, playing flawlessly through the entire set. Similarly, drummer Matt Mingus never misses a beat showcasing careful musicianship from the entire group. Vocally, Pearson and Mess could have fooled anyone to believe this was the first day of the tour. This sold-out show was number 17 of 21 and both vocalists performed with energy and great skill. Bassist Tim Feerick and touring guitarist Andrew Wells shared a couple of playful exchanges and moments during the set, always appearing to have fun even at the tail end of the tour.
In the end, you are getting what you paid for seeing Dance Gavin Dance and you can expect nothing but the best from each member of the group who are masters of their respective crafts.
Brendan is a touring concert photographer and videographer from Louisville, KY. Outside of photography Brendan lifts weights and enjoys writing music.