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Dance Gavin Dance - The Asylum, Birmingham 03.03.2018

Veil Of Maya - Cee Gregory There was a gathering wave of excitement in the Asylum. The dive-bar-slash-nightclub was about to host two massive names in their respective genres. There were a group of snapback wearing kids getting antsy. It was time for Veil Of Maya to take to the stage and they certainly did. Such a huge sound. Opening with "Whistle-blower" from their late-2017 release "False Idol", these lads brought it hard across the pond. Despite weather delays and jet-lag, they had a massive presence and seemingly endless energy. Magyar's vocals were flawless, his transitions from clean to screams seems effortless as he shows brummies how to throw down. Hauser and Okubo brought the thick and heavy riffs and basslines. They played some incredible tracks from their fifth studio album "Matriarch", my favourite in particular being "Aeris". Applebaum nailed it beat for beat, particularly when they brought the house down with "Mikasa", the drums so intense they rattle your chest cavity. All in all, a hugely promising start to the EU tour, despite adversity, setting the bar high for the lads in DGD and Thousand Below. Dance Gavin Dance - Ric Snell I’ll start this review off with an admission; me and Cee are massive fans of Dance Gavin Dance, and I particularly have been for a good long while now, so if any of this comes across as biased, that’s because it absolutely is. The Sacramento quartet kicked off their set with what is, in my opinion, one of the best set-openers I’ve ever heard. "Chucky vs The Giant Tortoise" comes in with such force on the album, and none of this power is lost when the guys played it live. In fact, every track on the set was near album quality, which is always something to be lauded in any band. "Summertime Gladness" was up next. Although I was unsure about this when it was released last summer, it grows on you over time and if it’s a sign of things to come regarding their upcoming release, then I am ready and waiting. It's a given that every touring band focuses on their newest release, but any fan worth their salt will say that getting a few of the oldies out there is always appreciated. So while I did expect there would be the odd gems from older albums, tracks like "On The Run" and "Strawberry Swisher Pt. 3", as well as "We Own The Night" which were received with welcome arms by the crowd. In particular, the day that "We Own The Night" is removed from their setlist will be a sad one for me, because hearing Tillian blast out the lyrics in this song is always a pleasure. One track I wasn’t expecting to hear was "Me and Zoloft Get Along Just Fine". It was such a rare treat, with it being from such an early album, but Tillian Pearson does it a great deal of justice. Other great tracks such as "Flossie Dickey Bounce" had everyone going crazy (an entire venue screaming “Cocaine Cringe Fest!!” at the top of their lungs is a sight to behold). They ended it perfectly with "Betrayed By The Game", another hard-hitter to go out swinging. In short, not only have DGD crafted themselves such a unique sound, but they've managed to carry this across into a live set, a feat that is not always achieved by others. Listening to these guys live, I can honestly say they’re one of the few bands whose sound is almost album quality and have a lot to offer the rest of Europe on this tour.

Review - Cee Gregory & Ric Snell

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