Dance Gavin Dance haven’t toured Australian shores in over 3 years, and by selling out all but one show on this Australian tour, it’s clear they’ve been missed. In fact, Sydney goers couldn’t get enough of Dance Gavin Dance, that even a venue upgrade didn’t stop the show from still being sold out last night.
Sneaking a peek at the Facebook event yesterday morning, it was clear fans were desperate to attend this show, trying their hardest to score a last minute ticket off someone who was silly enough to change their mind about going. From this, it was clear that I was in for a killer night being surrounded by people who were serious Dance Gavin Dance supporters.
The air at Factory Theatre was full of excitement and thrill, as punters turned up early to watch Melbourne boys, Belle Haven, open the night. The five-piece managed to pack out half the room and went slamming straight into their first song, ‘You’, without as much as an introduction; no chit chats, because this is a concert not tea with your nan. Delivering post-hardcore realness that got heads bopping, kicks flying and more sing-a-longs than I expected, Belle Haven, performed more heavy hitters from their sophomore album ‘You, Me and Everything in Between’, including ‘Burn the Witch’, ‘Little Polaroid Boy’ and ‘Me’. Belle Haven wrapped up their set up with ‘Selfmade’, a heartfelt track with a catchy chorus and haunting melodic riffs, that ensured the crowd were ripe and ready for the next band, Veil of Maya.
You started to get that ‘sold out’ vibe when Veil of Maya took to the stage in front of a packed room. The four-piece gave nothing short of a dramatic entry that looked like it belonged in a stadium, let alone Factory Theatre – or maybe I’m just a sucker for a good strobe light and smoke machine. From their out of place hardstyle intro, crashing into ‘Nyu’, the crowd was moving, and the pit was thriving. Sliding into ‘Leeloo’, it became clear that Veil of Maya were not there to f**k spiders, with the four-piece delivering a maelstrom of polyrhythmic guitars and trembling beats that got every headbanging.
Now, when Lukas Magyar asks you to circle put, you start running in a circle, no questions asked. So imagine the whole floor of Factory Theatre spinning to ‘Overthrow’, needless to say, the venue got hot and heavy within seconds. And every time after that if Magyar asked for something the crowd would instinctively fulfill his wishes because face it, he has the voice of an angel and we’re all sluts for Veil of Maya. From wall to wall, to crowd surfing, it was clear the crowd were into this set, and the band were not ready to let them as they continued to sling bangers from ‘False Idol’ and ‘Matriarch’.
Ending with their signature anthem ‘Mikasa’, the crowd for obvious reasons lost their sh*t, and the pit took a deadly turn, leaving only the brave to kick and punch their way to the end of the set. Veil of Maya captivated the crowd from start to finish, the four-piece never missed a beat and seemed to enjoy the set almost as much as the crowd, with everyone on both sides of the barrier sweaty and keen for a breather before Dance Gavin Dance took to the stage.
Man, I was wrong in thinking the crowd were wild for Veil of Maya because they filled up Factory Theatre to the brim and went into complete chaos for headliners Dance Gavin Dance. From the get-go the crowd were ballistic, singing along every word of ‘Son of Robot’ with such accuracy you could have sworn they wrote the song. It was apparent Sydney had greatly missed Dance Gavin Dance, as they pit pushed and jumped along to the blistering, uniquely experimental cacophony ‘Count Bassy’ from the bands latest album ‘Artificial Selection’.
The hypnotic and chaotic sound Dance Gavin Dance are known for was highlighted through the classic track ‘Death of a Strawberry’, which everyone was enthusiastically clapping along too. Honestly, for a Thursday night after 10pm, I thought the crowd would have fizzled by now, but they kept thriving – singing, clapping, jumping like their lives depended on it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t say the same for unclean vocalist, Jon Mess, who appeared to be a little less than pleased to be performing, which echoed through his awkward stage presence. However, this was mostly masked by Tilian Pearson’s energetic aura and inhuman vocals. Are we sure this guy wasn’t born on Mars? Because those highs, that range, it was something out of this world to experience live.
I think no one was left disappointed as Dance Gavin Dance preformed bangers ‘Chucky vs. The Giant Tortoise’, ‘We Own The Night’ and ’Summertime Gladness’, which had everyone chucking a boogie instead of a fist, but I guess that’s what you have to have to expect when it comes to Dance Gavin Dance, as their eccentric sound allows them to cross genres with ease. ‘Inspire the Liars’ had Sydney wanting more, but the six-piece was ready to call it a night, heading off stage immediately after. Let’s be honest, when hasn’t a crowd begging, yelling, screaming, ‘ONE MORE SONG’ worked in guilting a band back on stage? The six-piece exploded back for an encore and Sydney almost drowned out the band as they sang every lyric of ‘Evaporate’, ending the night with everyone yelling ‘you get what you paid for’.
Overall, this gig was like having your eardrums blessed by angels, as I cannot express how tight every band played. If you’re in the mood for a good time, I’d recommend snapping up tickets ASAP, as Perth is the only show left on this tour that hasn’t yet sold out. So plunder those Facebook event pages and get yourself a ticket, because who knows when Veil of Maya and Dance Gavin Dance will be back on Aussie soil.