REVIEW: Dance Gavin Dance Amp Up the Energy on Their 'Artificial Selection' Tour

Updated: Apr 25, 2019


Photo credit: Nathan Rogers

Iconic post-hardcore band, Dance Gavin Dance, brought their Artificial Selection tour to rock the recently renovated Agora Theatre and Ballroom in Cleveland, OH on April 16.


The guys in Dance Gavin Dance brought along a powerhouse lineup of supporting acts-- three piece instrumental atmospheric rock band Covet opened up the show and warmed the crowd with their immersive guitar work and unique style.


Hardcore band Hail The Sun followed Covet and continued to grow the energy with their set. Hail the Sun's, Donovan Melero, showed off his skill set as both the lead vocalist and drummer for his band, seamlessly staying on beat and hitting every note, a difficult and impressive feat to say the least.


The next band that took the stage traveled all the way from the UK, charismatic heavy rockers Don Broco had the crowd jumping along to their catchy beats almost immediately. Lead vocalist, Rob Damiani, shared a sentimental moment with the crowd during a rare lull in their high energy set, that the very first "proper show" they had played in America several years ago was at the Agora, and they felt grateful to be back.


Photo by: Nathan Rogers


The final opener was progressive metal band Periphery, the heaviest band of the night, and they wasted no time in blasting their soaring guitar work and vocalist Spencer Sotelo's huge range of screams through the speakers. They had a large following in attendance, and the crowd responded just as quickly, enthusiastically forming multiple mosh pits on the crammed Agora floor.


After all four talented opening bands had played their sets, the crowd was more than ready for the big moment, Dance Gavin Dance. The band opened up their set explosively with one of their biggest hits, "Son of Robot," off of their 2018 album, Artificial Selection.


Dance Gavin Dance did not limit themselves as they treated their fans to everything from older songs like "Uneasy Hearts Weigh the Most" and classic staples such as "Chucky vs. the Giant Tortoise," met with brand new material like "Head Hunter."



Photos by: Nathan Rogers


The energy in the pit was palpable. Fans stayed active and entirely engaged throughout their whole set, much due to the distinctive dichotomy of heavy vocalist, Jon Mess, paired with charismatic clean vocalis, Tilian Pearson.


Pearson makes it clear he enjoys what he does, dancing around the stage during guitar solos and Mess' screamed verses. They work together well on stage, tag-teaming between different vocal styles to create a dynamic experience.


Dance Gavin Dance closed out the show on two huge tracks, both off their 2016 album "Mothership" and the vocally intensive anthem "We Own the Night," which was almost as powerful as "Man of the Year."


Pearson's seemingly inhuman high notes never faltered despite the difficulty of many songs within their setlist. The band returned to the stage after chants from the crowd and performed one final song, "Evaporate," appropriately from the Artificial Selection album.


This tour is a heavy-hitter, and has a little something for everyone who enjoys the rock scene. It is not one to be missed if you get the chance to see it.






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