>> On Sunday, June 10th, enough post-hardcore music fans came together to sell out a local favorite venue, Anthology. Headlining the show and touring their brand new album, “Artificial Selection,” was Dance Gavin Dance, with the support of I See Stars, Erra, and Sianvar. Throughout the night, energy levels rose and the crowd got more and more wild with each band’s set.
Kicking off the show around 7 PM was Sianvar, playing a five-song set. This band is comprised of an absolute powerhouse of musicians; with Will Swan from Dance Gavin Dance, Donovan Melero of Hail The Sun, Sergio Medina from Stolas, and Michael Franzino and Joseph Arrington from A Lot Like Birds. Hearing the combination of influences from all these different bands was amazing, and the music they create together becomes its own unique sound and live experience. Singer Donovan Melero stole the room’s attention with his emotionally charged vocals and dramatic movements around the stage. Although not as many people in the crowd were singing along the words, it was impossible to miss how engaged and supportive everyone was with this band.
Next up on the bill was progressive-hardcore band Erra, hailing from Birmingham, Alabama. Many people in the room were specifically excited to see this group, and after their set, there was no doubt about why. Their performance was impeccably tight, and the shredding guitar solos and complex drum parts left fans in awe. The constant back-and-forth between vocalists Jesse Cash and J.T. Cavey kept energy high, and parts delivered by the band’s instrumentalists seemed flawless. Also only playing five songs, the band mainly featured their most recent studio album, Drift, which hit #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart upon its release in 2016. Additionally, Erra premiered a brand new track of which the title was not revealed.
Playing third that night was Michigan-based electronicore band, I See Stars. With dramatic lighting from behind the stage, their set was quite the spectacle. Their songs combined influences of rock, metal and electronic dance music, and kept a majority of the crowd moving for the entirety of their set. Frontman Devin Oliver commanded the stage with his radio-esque clean vocals, as well as his gritty screams while his brother Andrew performed backup vocals and held down the band’s sound with his sample pad and keyboard. The band mostly played tracks from their most recent album, Treehouse, but interspersed a few older songs which drew intense reactions from the crowd. With their unique blend of genres and vibrant stage presence, this band certainly left an impact on the room.
Finally, headliners Dance Gavin Dance took the stage to finish out the show; the immense anticipation for this set was obvious from within the crowd. This 13-year-old post-hardcore band from Sacramento, California, released their 8th studio album, Artificial Selection, just two days before the show. They opened their set with a fan-favorite song,“Frozen One,” and continued to play tracks from various recent albums, including two from their newest. Despite security’s best efforts, crowdsurfers streamed across the front half of the audience. Mosh pits erupted as die-hard fans screamed every lyric back at vocalists Tilian Pearson and John Mess. From a band with as much experience as these guys, it was no surprise that their live performance sounded just as good as their records.
Overall the night was a tremendous success. The venue’s sound was spot on, the crowd held its excitement and engagement throughout the whole night, and each band performed to their best. If ever given the opportunity to see any of these amazing artists live, take it and you will not regret it.<<