OMG OK so Dance Gavin Dance was in town on Monday and it was the longest work day of my life. I was so giddy about it too because DGD is just so much fun and they make me feel pure happiness, which is an anomaly for me considering all I do is cry cry cry at shows. But this current version of DGD, fronted by Tilian, just makes me want to dance my fucking face off.
I was so excited about it that at the end of our weekly meeting that night, I blurted out, “I’M GOING TO SEE DANCE GAVIN DANCE TONIGHT YOU GUYS” and everyone was like, “Wow. Cool story. Poor Henry.”
Before leaving work, I went to change my clothes in the bathroom and that’s when I realized that I only brought jeans and not a shirt so I got to wear the fucking BLOUSE I had on at work to the goddamn DGD show like a fucking WORKING MOM.
I mean, I am a working mom but those kids don’t need to know that. Ugh.
“You still look cute though!” Amber1 said when I whined to her about it in GAYLE’S HALLWAY.
(Seriously, Gayle has her own hallway.)
Henry picked me up from work and we went straight to Millvale, where we had some time to have a very fancy dinner at Subway. I was happy that they have wraps there because I was carrying a pie baby (thanks, pie party) and barely wanted to eat anything but I also didn’t want to pass out at the show. The two people working there were such assholes. Like, grow a personality. Fucking fake it if you have to! Don’t make me feel like a reject because I only want black olives, tomatoes, spinach and then more black olives on my red pepper hummus wrap, you dumb cooze.
As we walked out, Henry held the door open for some lady with a cane. When her back was turned, I ripped Henry’s hand off the door so I could hold it instead. I mean, I violently pried his fingers off that door. When the lady turned around to thank him, my big dumb face was there instead, sweetly shouting YOU’RE WELCOME. And probably smiling like someone who dresses like a clown and hides in the woods, because I was THAT HYPER. Dance Gavin Dance does things to me, you guys. I kept shadowboxing in Henry’s face as we walked down the streets of Millvale on our way to Mr. Smalls.
Honestly, we should have just stayed at Subway longer because the first two bands were so bad. And I’m pretty forgiving when it comes to opening bands because I always imagine that they’re someone’s sons (or daughters) so I try to be fair. But man. The first band was SO OBNOXIOUS. The White Noise, I think was their name. We know for certain that they’re from LA because the screamer reminded us in between every song. I just didn’t like his attitude and the music did nothing for me so I refused to clap for them. In the words of Trump, the frontman was just way too “braggadocious.”
“OMG I KNOW HIM! THAT’S MY FRIEND COLLIN! I KNOW HIM!” I cried, when the crowd broke up in order to let a pit form, and I saw my teenaged Instagram friend Collin on the other side of the floor.
“He’s not your friend!” Henry laughed. “He’s a kid!”
Yeah, but we go to like all the same shows and he started following me on Instagram two years ago after the Icarus the Owl show at Mr Smalls. So….
He’s my friend.
(We have never acknowledged each other in real life though. I was going to say hi to him in August at the Sianvar show but Henry was like PLEASE DON’T THAT’S SO WEIRD.)
(Henry doesn’t want me to have friends.)
(Henry wants to clip my wings and keep me under a box.)
(With one tiny hole poked in the top.)
The second band was even worse, my people. Musically, they sounded fine. But the singer, my lord, the singer. There was something Jonny Craig-ish about him, like if Jonny Craig was covering the Darkness. This guy’s falsetto was going through me like a bad Taco Bell meal. I kept looking around at the crowd, expecting them all to hate it too, but a lot of those guys had a FUCK YEAH demeanor and I was like, “Is this a joke? Are we not in on the joke? Or are THEY not in on it!?”
I just felt like there was a disconnect there, like am I officially out of touch? Why didn’t I get it?!
“Are you guys here to be cool, or to have fun?” the singer shouted, to which Henry muttered, “Be cool.” He was leaning against a wall with his arms crossed so I decided to try and push him into the circle pit that was currently kicking up dust next to us, but then it almost backfired when he grabbed my arm and turned the tables on me.
I actually screamed a little bit because MY FRAGILE BONES! My chub only goes so far to pad my bones, but I’m still susceptible to fractures, OK?
THAT’S HOW I SOUND WHEN I FAKE-SING TO THE CATS.
I think they were called Good Tiger, by the way. WHAT’S SO GOOD ABOUT THEM.
Oh for God’s sake, I was so miserable during their set and actually felt like trapped.
Like I was in a cage.
LIKE I WAS A GOOD TIGER IN A CAGE SUBJECTED TO BAD MUSIC.
But then Hail the Sun came out and made it all OK. (Well, for me, anyway. Henry hates Hail the Sun.)
I have nothing but good words for these guys. I’ve seen them so many times over the years (mostly with DGD!) and they just keep getting better. I have a greater appreciation for them now though. I love watching Donovan do his crazy dancing on stage, and that’s Henry’s least favorite part because Henry hates watching people exhibit joy and passion.
BUT SERIOUSLY THIS FUCKING SONG OW MY HEART. I love when he says “t-t-telephone.” It makes me clasp my hands against my chest like I just watched my kid take his first step or something. I don’t know, I’m trying to be RELATABLE.
I just asked Henry, off the cuff, to tell me what he thinks about Hail the Sun and he murmured, “I don’t think about them.”
He made copious comments about Donovan’s dancing that night though.
I just realized that Henry is just jealous.
And the night just got better from there. The Contortionist came out next and I honestly had never heard of them before so I had no idea what to expect. They started out with a very theatrical, slow burn of an intro. OK, they had my attention. They reminded me of elements of Dredg and Tool. Maybe even a little Earshot.
Later, I found out that they primarily tour with metal bands I’m just not into, like Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, Hatebreed, Killswitch Engage — so it makes sense that I’ve never come across them before. That’s way out of my wheelhouse.
The singer’s voice was ethereal and effortlessly beautiful. But the most interesting part about him was the controlled way he slowly moved around the stage, alternating between fluid and jerky movements. It was like we were watching him through a strobe light and it just made me so uneasy yet absolutely enrapt.
And then he started screaming his fucking throat raw, causing a violent circle pit to open up and people were doing weird hand things and this is when I was convinced that the singer is a cult leader.
I was also kind of legit scared. The singer reminded me of Voldemort.
“HASHTAG SO OBSESSED!” I shouted in Henry’s ear, who just frowned in response.
Henry frowned, not his ear.
There was a moment when the singer hit a certain note so angelically that I spontaneously burst into tears.
Henry knew this was going to happen.
I was hooked, you guys. His voice. Their music. The whole aesthetic. I guess I’m now an official worshiper of the house of The Contortionist. Catch ya later, Catholicism.
I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THEM AGAIN!!!
In between bands, Toto’s Africa came on, inciting a deliriously loud sing-along inside Mr. Smalls, and Henry slept through through the whole thing…..while leaning against a wall.
He told me later that he wasn’t “sleeping,” he was “trying not to pass out.”
And then….OMG OMG OMG it was time for Dance Gavin Dance! You bet your ass I sweat all the way through my dumb blouse during their set because it’s DGD and who can stand still during their show?! I mean, besides Henry?!
Tilian fractured his leg over the summer and was propped up on crutches, so we didn’t get to see any of his sweet dance moves (much to Henry’s relief* — he is like, so hard to impress when it comes to stage presence), but even standing still, he was a fucking star. (He did treat us to some body rolls though because he’s Tilian and that’s what Tilian does.)
*(Does Henry just hate dancing in general? IS HENRY THE DAD FROM FOOTLOOSE?!?!)
The energy in the room was off the charts and I just lost my mind screaming like it was Beatlesmania in 2016. This band inflates my heart with unadulterated, all natural, no-preservatives-added joy. I wish I could explain it, but their sick beats and weird lyrics breathe life back into me, and in one hour they were able to reverse the negative effects the last several months have had on me. HOW?! I don’t know! Aside from Henry’s kids, I have never been able to get any of my friends into this band, so I can’t quite put my finger on what it is about them that draws me to them, but they had a pull on me since the very first time I heard them nearly 10 years ago, and through three different vocalists and a million various line-up changes, my devotion to them has never faltered.
Because they make me feel like THIS! Giddy and ridiculous!
Ugh, they’re just so fun. And their set list was bonkers too – they covered all eras – but my only complaint was that it was so short. Only an hour! They have seven albums at this point and could play for so much longer if they would stop taking so many bands on tour with them. It should have just been Hail the Sun and The Contortionist.
Maybe bring out a chair for Tilian so he doesn’t have to stand on a broken leg, you know? WE DON’T MIND.
At one point, some girl came shooting out of the middle of the crowd and practically lunged at me, putting me in some strange hug-like thing, and nearly knocking me against the wall.
I was so confused, wondering if I knew her.
“I lost my shoe!” she kept yelling to me. And then some guy came and retrieved her. I noticed that she had both shoes on, right before she was swallowed up by the crowd. I exchanged shrugs with the girl next to me and then we laughed and went back to freaking out over Dance Gavin Dance. I LOVE EVERYONE AT DGD SHOWS.
COCAINE CRINGE FEST!!!!
In between songs, Tilian mentioned that this was the first night they had their new, not-yet-released album available at their merch booth, which was perfect because I never got around to pre-ordering it since Riot Fest made us poor, so I told Henry we needed to get it.
“Then we’ll have to leave before it’s over so we don’t have to wait in line,” Henry shouted back into my ear.
I was like OH HELL NAW, I’m not leaving a goddamn DGD early, who does he think he’s suggesting this to? Some working mom in a blouse?
“Well, why don’t you just go over there now and get it,” I countered, and he did as he was told.
Several minutes passed and I became acutely aware that he never returned. Usually I can feel his dumb belly pushing against my back because he stands so fucking close to me like he’s suddenly Mr. Possessive when we all know he doesn’t give a fuck. Yeah, he went to buy the record for me and never came back. That motherfucker went straight back to the car!
Ballsy move, Hank.
Good thing DGD puts me in a zone and I really didn’t care either way. Henry told me later, “I mean, I like Dance Gavin Dance. But there was only like 20 minutes left anyway, and you know, I’ve seen them before, so.”
Cool reasoning, bro.
- Chucky vs. The Giant Tortoise
- Stroke God Millionaire
- On the Run
- Spooks (!!!!!!!!!!!)
- Tree Village
- FLOSSIE DICKEY BOUNCE!
- Death of a Strawberry
- Strawberry Swisher Pt 3 (I lose my mind during the “keep my fingers crossed, I want to be somewhere that I belong” part every single time)
- Betrayed By the Game
- Lemon Meringue Tie <33333333333333333333
- We Own the Night
- Alex English
This just isn’t enough, but I’ll take what I can get.
You guys, it’s so wonderful. (And yes, the only record player in our house right now belongs to Chooch the Hipster. And he doesn’t let me forget it, either.)
I have been in the best mood since Monday night.
Henry is upstairs sleeping so I just called him on the phone, from the couch, to get a quote from him.
“I cant believe you called me for this,” Henry sighed around his mouth cobwebs. “Why do you make me do this stuff. I don’t know. I like Dance Gavin Dance.”
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN, DANCE GAVIN DANCE. <3