Two weeks ago, I went to another concert that I really enjoyed.
The Welsh alt-rock band Dream State, comprising vocalist CJ Gilpin, guitarists Aled Evans and Rhys Wilcox, bassist Danny Rayer and drummer Jamie Lee, came to the Camden Assembly finishing off their recent tour. Founded in 2014, the quintet released one EP ‘Consequences’ in 2015 (self-released), as well as three singles which are ‘Burn Them Down’ (2015, self-release), ‘White Lies’ (2017, UNFD) and ‘In This Hell’ (2018, UNFD). Musically, they show influences of post-hardcore and alt-rock, as CJ mixes both very rough and screamed vocals with softer clean vocals. Her range and the very personal, vulnerable lyrics create a unique vibe to the music.
Around 7pm, the doors to the venue upstairs at the Camden Assembly were opened and the space in front of the stage started filling up with a rather young audience. First band on the stage of the sold-out show was the British emotive hardcore band Parting Gift which I was excited about as I knew their music and really liked it. Since their formation in 2017, they officially have released three songs which are ‘Be Still’ (2017, self-released), ‘In Mind’ (2017, self-released) and ‘Asleep’ (2017, self-released), combining very dark, spherical and mysterious sounds with emotional lyrics. Their whole appearance is still quite mystical and vague with only little information that can be found. However, the quintet from Manchester just updated their website, promising new things to come. Nonetheless, the crowd seemed to enjoy the vibes and sound of their music which was a great start of the evening.
Following up, the second band on the stage was the British alt-rock quartet Chapter And Verse from London who was formed by Josh Carter (vocals), Darren Gosling (guitar), Jonny Hopwood (bass) and Ash Morton (drums) in 2016. Until now, they released one EP ‘The Wolves Back Home’ (2016, self-release), mixing heavy guitars with mostly clean vocals with screamed parts now and then. Especially Josh’s great vocal range was impressive and adds a unique feature to the band’s sound. As their music in general is very energetic, they captured the crowd right from the beginning and transferred the energy from the stage into the big circle pit in the middle of the crowd, which Josh himself joined towards the end of their set.
With Dream State finally entering the stage, the crowd went mental and the venue burst with energy. Everyone sung the lyrics back to the band on the top of their lungs and danced along which was highly appreciated by the band. As it was the last day of the tour, not only the bands tried to give their very best making it a memorable final, but also the crowd was extremely motivated which resulted in circle pits, jumping and dancing around. CJ took the chance at the end of their set to jump into the crowd for some crowd-surfing. All the musicians were great and delivered a very good vocal and instrumental performance. Dream State couldn’t thank the crowd enough at the end and was overwhelmed. They stayed with the crowd to take a group picture and chat with their fans.
Luckily, the acoustic at the venue was well balanced so both the vocals and instruments sounded properly. The lightshow was kept quite dark which suited the vibe and ambience of the music. Especially Parting Gift had a mystic and almost haunting vibe during their set which created curiousity. The light bulbs at the back of the stage created a nice vibe and added a different feature to the normal lights above the stage.
Overall, it was an incredible final gig for Dream State’s UK tour which was not only highly enjoyed by the bands but also by the fans who discharged their energy in a huge circle pit and by singing on the top of their lungs. Everyone seemed to have a special time and a lot of fun.
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