It’s amazing to watch the growth of a band from humble beginnings and just maybe a single on alternative radio stations- if they’re lucky. That was the case with DREAMERS, the alt-rock (emphasis on the rock) group who sold out their third-ever headlining show on Saturday. It was a crazed atmosphere full of pent-up teenage energy.
Moody pop singer-songwriter morgxn opened the show, riding the high of releasing debut record vital earlier this year. With bright yellow fingernails—the ring fingers were adorned with rainbow stripes!—he shimmied along the edge of the stage while his falsetto soared above the delighted crowd.
Morgxn told the story about marching in the Women’s March with his mom, which he remembers as an incredible and powerful experience. But the trance was broken when someone yelled “Faggot!” from the sidelines. It led him to concentrate solely on the ways that people are connected rather than different, and that fierce vulnerability is in every line of his music.
Most knew morgxn from the sexy rocker “home,” which he poured his whole heart into, thanking the Crescent Ballroom for coming back two years after his first performance there.
Weathers crash landed onto the stage next, bringing the swagger and style of Alex Turner but the hype of Walk the Moon for a set that was just plain cool. It became clear pretty quickly that a good portion of the underage fans were there to scream about frontman Cameron Boyer’s perfect cheekbones, but the group’s frenetic energy had the rest of us enraptured. This is a band that’s a full experience to see live because listening back to their recordings doesn’t have nearly the same effect.
The LA-based foursome is also supporting a debut record, June’s Kids in the Night, but brought out an impressive amount of longtime fans to the show. “This one goes out to our old fans, the ones who have been with us for years.” Boyer barely got the words out before being drowned out by screams and eager proclamations of love. For the first time, I got a sense of what Beatlemania must have been like.
“1983” and a brilliant cover of “London Calling” were high points in the set and made their mark; they knew how to make the crowd want more. The crowd, though, just wanted “Happy Pills,” the track that put Weathers on the radar at SXSW this year. The ironically happy song was the mic drop to end the set, too cool to even touch.
Everyone barely had the chance to breathe before DREAMERS rocked their first sold-out headlining set. With two singles on alt-rock repeat right now (and a history of well-performing EPs), they’re one of the key players on the scene right now.
DREAMERS love to crank up the volume, and a wall of sound hit every surface with each riff. Meanwhile, frontman Nick Wold sang into a microphone that was adorned with a dreamcatcher, but you could barely hear him over the rest of the instruments. Somehow that made the songs feel new because you had to feel how the melodies go instead of hearing them outright. While he sang, Wold, who was sporting L.A. thrift store patterned green pants, whipped around his purple hair.
The group may currently be based in L.A., but their roots are New York through and through. It’s what makes them gritty, what makes them a little darker than some of their contemporaries. And it’s why they got away with their own rendition of “Bullet With Butterfly Wings.”
This band has experience, especially on the road: Already this year, they’ve been out with New Politics and played a single-day festival in Phoenix in March. “Sweet Disaster” and “Painkiller” have been in rotation, as well as “Drugs.” On Saturday, though, we got lucky. “Wolves (You Got Me)” closed out the show after DREAMERS thanked the fans profusely for their continued support over the past few years.
“Thank you, Phoenix!” Their last note: “We are DREAMERS, and so are you!”
Story and photos by Taylor Gilliam