We all have bands that we refuse to miss when they come to town and Dance Gavin Dance is most certainly one of those bands for me. This time I found myself especially full of anticipation. While I’d seen them perform with Jonny Craig on the mic a few times already, I’d yet to see them perform with Tilian Pearson at the helm. Acceptance Speech is an exceptional album in my book, but part of what I looked forward to most was hearing how Pearson would do performing some of their older work. I can count on only one hand how many times I’ve said this before: the show was perfect.
I arrived at the show just as the band was setting up. Much to my surprise I had absolutely no trouble finding a good parking space at Mr. Small’s Theatre in Pittsburgh-an incredibly rare treat for anyone that frequents this venue. The crowd was just the right size, not too big, not too small. Everyone there clearly had been listening to this band for a very long time. The crowd was the kind of group you want at every metal show. The moshing was just right, the drinks were cheap, and everyone knew every word. Why am I taking a chunk of this review to talk about the crowd? Because a perfect show is more than just the band, it’s an experience you share with with a whole group of people that you’d hope to instantly become friends with for an evening. This was exactly the case here.
When DGD took to the stage, everyone crowded around them, not everyday do you see people leave the 21+ area to mosh. The music was as good as it gets. When Pearson announced that they’d be performing a couple of old songs, the crowd was electric. The majority of the show was dedicated to material from Acceptance Speech, with the encore comprised of the single of the same name. The older material spanned the band’s entire career, and the vocals were so good, neither I, nor any of the people I talked to missed Craig. Sure, they did not perform my favourite song by the band, “Heat Seeking Ghost of Sex,” but I can easily let that go. Jon Mess once again amazed me, reaffirming my personal opinion that he is the best screamer in the business. If this show did one thing, it made me all the more excited for this band’s future. With such a talented lineup and Pearson’s impeccable vocals, this band has nowhere to go but up. I cannot wait for them to come to Pittsburgh again.