Seattle – New Jersey two-piece band Dads made a stop under the Space Needle. Earlier this year they delivered their 90s emo revival sound on their latest album I’ll Be The Tornado. Best New Bands spoke with vocalist and drummer John Bradley and guitarist/vocalist Scott Sharinger last month about the album, coming into adulthood, and being a touring band, among other topics.
They’re now on the road promoting the album, with just a handful of dates left. Bradley and Sharinger are joined on tour (and possibly forever?) with bassist Ryan Azada to perform the tracks live. While Azada is a new member, he doesn’t miss a beat with the band, falling into the passionate playing style Bradley and Sharinger display. Their Seattle stop at Vera Project was a fresh, yet nostalgic, treat for the home of grunge.
The crowd surprisingly consisted of kids in their early 20s, especially at an all-ages venue. Everyone seemed to be wearing a flannel or tie-dyed shirt and donned either a septum ring or mustache. These are the kids that grew up listening to Modest Mouse, Brand New, and various Warped Tour posthardcore bands. And Dads has a similar sound to these influences, which made for a diverse and reflective show.
The stage was set in an equalizing format. The drum set was placed in between the guitarist’s and bassist’s positions, not set back like usual, and faced stage left, giving a more inviting view of Bradley. Having all members positioned on the same eye line was a unique and engaging stage set-up that reflected how relatable the rest of their set was.
Bradley’s dialogues between songs were slightly cringe worthy. Midshow, Bradley began to explain that the Pacific Northwest makes him sad because an ex dumped him there. While it was painful and awkward to hear him share personal history, it made a connection with the audience and fans and made the band more relatable and ultimately more likeable.
Luckily, the contrast between the awkward storytelling and the unrestrained passion in each song was like night and day. As soon as a new song began they became lost in their work. And when the performers on the stage do that, it ripples into the audience as well. A friendly mosh pit would begin when a song would progress to a breakdown or when the vocals escalated to screams. The set featured an occasional acoustic song to balance out the progressive, grungy breakdowns characteristic of their sound. Bradley would substitute the drums for the guitar and sometimes switch between the two in the same song. And while the show was relatively mellow, there was a good and consistent energy running between the stage and the floor that gave warmth to the set. Sure, there were the huge fans at the foot of the stage singing every lyric back to the band. But even the listeners in the back were affected by the energy radiating from Dads.
Dads’ nonchalant stage presence and relatable gawkiness was surprisingly refreshing compared to glammed up and synthed-out popular acts as of late. It reminded me why I love going to small, local shows: to make a connection.
Photos By Carly Hoskins
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