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Dance Gavin Dance (w/ I See Stars, Erra, Sianvar) @ The Observatory OC (Santa Ana, CA) on June 20, 2018 [Photos & Show Review]

- Jun 25, 2018 at 01:00PM
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Dance Gavin Dance’s Spring 2018 tour isn’t just a tour headlining the post-hardcore genre. It’s a celebration of what the genre has become and what the future holds for the genre as a whole. Needless to say, the future of post-hardcore has never looked brighter. Hot off the release of their eighth studio album, Artificial Selection, Dance Gavin Dance has proved yet again that the drastic fusions of clean vocals and unclean vocals is alive and well. Over its first week of release, Artificial Selection has reached over 11 million streams and has been met with overwhelming praise.

Opening the night were the rock supergroup Sianvar. The band is comprised of Hail the Sun vocalist Donovan Melero, Dance Gavin Dance guitarist Will Swan, Stolas guitarist Sergio Medina, A Lot Like Birds guitarist Michael Franzino, and drummer Joseph Arrington. Sianvar begs the question of what is post-hardcore. Abandoning the traditional formula of interjecting scream elements with a bigger focus on dream-like instrumental breakdowns. Sianvar set an unbelievably high energy that was eerily felt throughout the entire night.


Next on stage were Birmingham, Alabama natives Erra. The band takes its name from the Akkadian god of war. Never has a name suited a band more. Erra’s set featured melodic guitar rifts constructed around metalcore vocal work from J.T. Cavey and Jesse Cash. Each building on and working together to euphoric melodies. The thirty minute set featured three separate mosh pits. Thankfully no paramedics were needed.

Perhaps a guilty pleasure for many metal heads is I See Stars. Possessing a more pop-rich chorus and electronic elements, I See Stars is the embodiment of the metal and EDM worlds colliding. Featuring amazing vocal work from Devin Oliver and amazing light production, the sold-out crowd was in a frenzy. The set never let up once for its entire duration. An amazing performance that had the crowd begging for more and covered in sweat.

Watch Dance Gavin Dance’s “Midnight Crusade” music video here.


The last decade for Dance Gavin Dance has been filled with line-up changes and style shifts. However, since the introduction of Tilian Pearson as lead vocalist, the group has seen an incredible spike in popularity and is now settling into their spot of post-hardcore elite. Incredible even more is the wide variety of styles that are featured on their newest album release, Artificial Selection. An album that sees such melodic singles as “Care” and “Suspended In This Disaster” alongside heavy unclean vocal work from Jon Mess on “The Rattler”. It’s a testament to how great of a range in fan base the band has attracted over the years. Dance Gavin Dance put on a set featuring fan favorites from older albums Mothership as well as Instant Gratification. Filling the hearts of fans new and old with post-hardcore excitement. There’s no denying the star of the night was vocalist Tilian Pearson. His energy and vocal range is truly something to behold live.

The impact Dance Gavin Dance has had on the genre can be felt loud and clear. Post-Hardcore is not dead, its in fact alive and thriving. As the Spring 2018 tour comes to an end, the band has sold out 19 of their 23 dates.
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