We are back in Charlotte, NC for “An Evening With Friends” Tour featuring Body Thief, Royal Coda and Dance Gavin Dance headlining. Body Thief is a 4 piece act from the Washington DC area. I am not quite sure if the touring line up is the official lineup since there were different fill-ins on the tour. The Post Hardcore/Rock elements of Body Thief were very familiar with high energy moments from lead vocalist, Daniel Hawkins . I did get some Saosin vibes from their performance as seen on the track “Innerverse” which was very nostalgic. Although not well known as a band, I feel that the exposure from this lineup will put them on the map as most dates were Sold Out shows. Check out their 2019 album “Travel Glow” and stay tuned for new tracks in the future from this awesome band.
Next we have Sacramento based Royal Coda led which features ex Dance Gavin Dance vocalist , Kurt Travis which was very suitable for this tour ( as discussed later) . We see Royal Coda with the familiar lineup of Will Swan (Guitar), Kurt Travis (Vocals), Sergio Medina (Guitar), Joseph Arrington (Drums) and Steffen Gotsch (Bass). This is our second time seeing Gotsch on stage as he was filling in for a missing member from Body Thief. Royal Coda started off strong with the opening track from their newest album “To Only A Few At First” . The catchy choruses and melodies that we are used to from Kurt really shined during their set . I am not new to catching Kurt Travis live and this performance was stellar . I think personally, he has found his defining role with Royal Coda and it shows!
Our headliner is finally here to sport their newest album “ Jackpot Juicer “which just released on July 29th. Celebrating the release of their 10th album, Dance Gavin Dance is here to woo fans with their catalog of catchy tracks. Despite controversy in the band’s current vocalist situation, Andrew Wells is not afraid to step up to the plate. Andrew, who became a permanent member pretty recently after only being a touring member with them , has very big shoes to fill. We instantly see Andrew’s lack of fear by opening the headlining set with the famous track “ And I Told Them I Invented Times New Roman ”. For those that don’t know, This track was the first song on DGD’s first album Downtown Battle Mountain sung by Jonny Craig. Andrew manages to perform this track beautifully to his abilities even though no one will argue that Jonny can be matched. We see Andrew later perform 2 more Jonny tracks and did not disappoint. The biggest surprise from this set was seeing Kurt Travis help the crowd reminisce with some older albums on tracks “ Uneasy Hearts Weigh The Most ”, “Carl Barker”, and “Rock Solid” (Encore). It is also very important to know that Andrew is such a chameleon in the 3 different vocal styles of the past members (Jonny, Kurt, Tillian ) . We got to see a full 15 track set from DGD and the energy stayed at a nice peak the whole time with the crowd singing along the whole time. It is hard to say what the future is for DGD in the vocalist department, but I personally would be happy to see the era of Andrew after this performance.