Dance Gavin Dance, Heartline @ The Gov, Adelaide 16/11/2023

Pass the PopCore, extra Emo and make it funky please, do you like your post hardcore extra fruity? Well, you’re not alone as The Gov reached near capacity last night for Dance Gavin Dance on their long awaited Australian tour with pivotal 2022 album release Jackpot Juicer and yes Sir, they can definitely boogie.

Local legends Heartline had the honour of starting the party, and they did a stellar job of it. Exhibiting the same energy of excited children at Disneyland, they crushed the packed venue straight up with punchy track Delorean keeping their sonic force rolling and the audience engaged with a banging drum solo that pulled in the next sonic tsunami (and currently unreleased track) ‘Pink Lemonade’

Front man Luke Taylor kept everyone amped up, commanding the audience to move in closer and ‘get low’ to which we all obliged. I have never seen a support act tell an audience what to do, but they managed to get the entire crowd to crouch down and jump up enthusiastically. Their hometown fans were front and centre to sing along to popular 2019 release Crystal Eyes, which is a perfect blend of heavy and heart stirring and puts Taylor’s impressive vocal range on full display, while Under the Willow delivered those crushing dancey beats, showing everyone exactly why they are the perfect support for this tour. Only just coming out of their infancy, these guys are a promising band, with all the makings for an insanely huge Australian heavy act and some very sophisticated well written tracks. They have scored a few national supports and have been busy getting around the country with the likes of Windwaker and Thornhill so expect them to blow up in the coming years.

Coming out in full force with no time for anything but firing out bangers, Dance Gavin Dance were greeted by an ecstatic crowd opening with Ghost of Billy Royalton, and they kept that energy heightened with each track escalating the intensity of their set. I am certain I was the only person there who did not know every word to every song they played, but it became obvious very quickly that they have an enormous fanbase and some very catchy tunes.

Their special blend of pop and post hardcore matched with some incredible vocals and funky riffs backed by enormous sounding blast beats kept me mesmerised, while every member oozed ridiculous stage chemistry and boasted an effortless dynamic. Touring Bassist Sergio Medina got about the stage looking like a young James Brown with red velvet blazer and a much more impressive mop of hair, and he absolutely nailed the funk elements with lead guitarist Will Swan whose intoxicatingly jivey offbeat solo intros incited wild cheers from the audience. Vocalists Tilian and Jon Mess both complimented and contrasted each other beautifully, not stopping for a second and delivering an enormous and captivating performance. Tilian is a force in his own right with a unique vocal style and incredible pitch matched with some very smooth dancing and awe-inspiring showmanship. There was a lovely moment during Count Bassey, which has all the makings of a 90s rock ballad, where the entire venue erupted to sing the outro, which was followed by Tilian commenting on how well everyone had been ‘shaking bootys’. After Die Another Day the chants for the encore were relentless and Dance Gavin Dance came out strong finishing with We Own the Night and Evaporate.

It was a long quality set full of huge tracks that kept everyone moving and smiling until they were sweaty and satisfied. Funnily enough, I had the band in their bus next to me in traffic on the way home and not surprisingly, they appeared completely flaked out after putting on such a high energy show, Tilian was barely sitting up, flopped over his seat and utterly wiped from all that dancing. Turns out the rhythm does get you eventually.

Live Review By Bec Scheucher