Concert Review: Dads grace DC9 with inside jokes and intense riffs

Concert Review: Dads grace DC9 with inside jokes and intense riffs

Dads, the brainchild of songwriters John Bradley and Scott Scharinger, brought its dynamic brand of indie-emo rock to DC9 on Oct. 24.

The New Jersey natives, with the help of a touring bassist, performed material from their recently released album, “I’ll Be the Tornado,” as well as fan favorites from their previous releases. Minnesota band Tiny Moving Parts provided an energetic opening set before Dads took the stage.

Tiny Moving Parts began the early show with a high-octane performance that proved an excellent opener for fellow indie-emo revivalists Dads. Frontman Dylan Mattheisen’s harsh vocals and intricate guitar work made for a unique and infectiously energetic combination, keeping concertgoers engaged even as they became increasingly packed into DC9’s intimate second-floor venue.

Newer songs like “Always Focused” and “Sundress” were mixed with explosive performances of older tracks like “Vacation Bible School” and “Clouds Above My Head.” Set highlights included sporadic moshing and an eventual spill-over of concert members onto the already tightly packed DC9 stage. The energetic, chaotic opening performance made Tiny Moving Parts an excellent opening act.

After fighting through the tightly packed crowd to set up its equipment, Dads took the stage almost bashfully, which was surprising given the intensity of some of its music. However, the attitude was one of genuine humility, and drummer/vocalist John Bradley took time to thank both the venue and the audience before opening with “But”, a song off the newest album. As reserved as they were between songs, both Bradley and guitarist/vocalist Scott Scharinger showed no signs of holding back during their performance.

Bradley’s performance was particularly impressive, since he provides both the primary vocals and drums for most Dads songs. Surprisingly intricate drum parts highlighted the energy and passion of Bradley’s characteristically rough-around-the-edges vocals. Not all singers are Sinatra-grade crooners, but certain performers make up the difference in raw emotion. Bradley definitely achieved the latter and demonstrated a unique ability to truly connect with his audience. The sight and sound of dozens of audience members passionately shouting along line for line at the top of their lungs was a clear indicator that, rough edges aside, Bradley resonated with his fans.

After closing the main set with “Grand Edge,” Dads skipped the walk-off and launched into a two song encore of “Do You Still Think of Me” and fan favorite “S*** Twins.” Maybe it was time constraints, or maybe Dads really doesn’t care for the formalities of encore sets, but the seamless transition was just another illustration of the down-to-earth attitude that characterized the entire performance. From establishing inside jokes with the crowd, including comments on the evening’s unusually polite heckling and a concept film parodying Hot Tub Time Machine, Dads gave the impression that it had known its audience for years.

DC9’s cramped second-floor stage lends itself well to such interaction, but the band’s good-natured crowd interaction and impressive performance earned Dads unanimous approval from the audience.

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