Photography + Review: Dance Gavin Dance, Royal Coda, and Body Thief

Posted: by The Editor

Dance Gavin Dance have stood the test of time. From a roulette of vocalists, to cancelled tours, to the death of their beloved bassist, nothing can stop Dance Gavin Dance. Not only do they overcome any challenge thrown at them, their loyal fanbase continues to rocket their band to higher points in their career with each release. How many other bands can say their best selling album is their 10th release? Meticulously tweaking each album to further engulf listeners into the “Swancore” sound, Dance Gavin Dance never settles.

Putting together this tour at the last minute to replace a dropped summer tour, Dance Gavin Dance presented us with “an evening with friends”. While we see bands of this prolific prog rock sub genre sharing members with each new project, it was truly a testament to their musicianship to see the majority of them play two full sets each night on this tour. Opening the night was Body Thief whose 30 minute set filled the room with guitar “weedling” and guttural vocals that hooked new listeners like myself in moments. While Royal Coda was supposed to join Dance Gavin Dance on their Afterburner tour, multiple postponements caused them to drop. To say we were excited to see Royal Coda, especially a day after the release of their latest album, would be an understatement. While we would expect nothing less from any of the members of Royal Coda, their set continuously hit every mark. While Sergio and Will held down the intricate guitar leads, Kurt Travis showed everyone that ten years after his tenure in Dance Gavin Dance, he’s only gotten better. Even with two songs needing to be cut from their set, Royal Coda showed no signs of letting up throughout their 45 minute set.

We know what everyone in Dance Gavin Dance is capable of but this was the band’s first tour with Andrew taking lead vocals full time. With each previous singer of the band singing in a vastly different range than the next, it was impressive to see Andrew perform each vocalist’s songs so well. Keeping up with the casino theme of Jackpot Juicer, the stage featured a flag of each album that started flashing when a song from it was about to be performed.  Kicking off their set with “And I Told Them I Invented Times New Roman”, “Chucky Vs. The Giant Tortoise”, and “Synergy”, the crowd couldn’t control their excited when they saw those flags flash. We knew this tour was going to feature a few surprises but when the self titled flag began flashing, our suspicions were confirmed – Kurt Travis was coming out to play “Uneasy Hearts Weigh the Most”. It’s not every day you get to see a previous member rejoining your favorite band and the crowd showed their appreciation. After also performing “Carl Barker”, Kurt left the stage to let the band finish their set. Closing with their biggest hits “Inspire the Liars”, “We Own the Night”, and “Evaporate”, we couldn’t fully comprehend what we just got to witness. To give the fans one more token of appreciation, they brought out Kurt one last time for the encore to perform “Rock Solid” – and yes they did the bit. All good things must come to end and this show was no different. While this tour is coming to a close soon, we cannot wait to see what the future holds for this band (and the potential of Andrew being the newest lead vocalist).



Kyle Musser//@godvfwine