It’s been a strange old road for Dance Gavin Dance at times. First the departure of vocalist Jonny Craig and then Kurt Travis, lead to current frontman Tilian Pearson living in the shadow of his predecessors. However, live album ‘Tree City Sessions’ grants Pearson the deserved chance to put his own take on some of the classics. One for the diehard fan, this record acts as a varied 12-track guide to their past decade as a band. Alongside this, it also builds anticipation for their future with Pearson fronting and avoids falling flat like many live albums.
Despite lacking fresh material, a new fan should not dismiss the idea of listening as each live recording is a fresh take on old songs and if anything, they sound as good as new. The intense eclectic guitar remains but seems more heightened than ever while the erratic drumming fills each minute with a dominant, hyper energy. However, a benefit to Pearson, his voice remains the distinguishing factor. He channels Craig’s voice excellently on the classic ‘Lemon Meringue Tie’ – which let’s face it, was everyone’s favourite song at some point.
There are more recent songs like ‘We Own The Night’ which appears more raw live than the original recording and less drowned out by overproduced elements. A track that in my opinion betters the original is ‘And I Told Them I Invented Times New Roman,’ which has always packed a punch but this takes it to a different level.
‘Tree City Sessions’ is a very nostalgic selection of songs with a different light shed on them and only opens the door wider for DGD’s future after ten years. To mark this, they will also be touring the UK with Kurt Travis and Jonny Craig and it will sure be interesting to see how that goes!
‘Tree City Sessions’ by Dance Gavin Dance is released on May 13th on Rise Records.
Words by Phoebe Messenger (@kangaezu_)