“It’s been a long time coming, been a long time coming” – Dance Gavin Dance ended an eight year drought at Zydeco in Birmingham this week. While UAB hosted the Conference USA basketball tournament and struggled to draw an audience, the veteran post-hardcore quintet brought out the city and more to a midweek show.
Since the band’s last performance in Birmingham, they’ve dropped three albums and have underwent a number of lineup changes. However despite the rollercoaster ride, fans have stuck with Dance Gavin Dance and continue to sell out show across the U.S. DGD’s return to Alabama’s largest city was no different.
Photos by Benjamin Robson
Fans lined up outside the live music venue much before the doors opened and the line continued to wrap around the building while the first openers performed. Due to Zydeco’s low ceiling and stage height, the reason for arriving early became apparent immedietly upon stepping inside the venue. The orange stage lights casted a bright sea of color across that illuminated the room and separated the crowd’s extended fingertips from the ceiling. DGD t-shirts laced through the audience emphasizing the fandom at Zydeco.
The band emerged to “Lemon Meringue Tie” before moving into a song they introduced as simply Chucky – “Chucky vs. The Giant Tortoise”. The excellent musicianship of Matt Mingus, Will Swan and Tim Feerick created a base for the vocalists to sing atop. Jon Mess and Tillian Pearson shared vocals and the spotlight every couple seconds, breaking the line of sight for those in the back. Dance Gavin Dance rocked Zydeco and due the the venue’s basement-like qualities, the entire performance felt incredibly unique and one of a kind.
Five songs of Mothership made the setlist including “Young Robot”, “Frozen One” and “Inspire The Liars” – which DGD recently released a music video for. While DGD’s performance only lasted 12 songs due to the co-headliner Chon, the length seemed acceptable for the band as they were able to pour all they had into a dozen of their most popular songs. The overall reception gave hint that it won’t be eight years before Dance Gavin Dance returns to the city (if so, chances are this night at Zydeco was the least time Birmingham would see the band live).