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Show Review: La Dispute returns to Mesa for powerful headlining show

La Dispute celebrated the release of their newest album, Panorama, with a packed out show at the Nile Theater in Mesa this week.


Opening the evening was Slow Mass, a powerful quartet from Chicago. Their set started slow and dreamy but steadily built to a wall of sound. The main room was filling steadily from this first band, and they proved their worth from the get go.


Florida group Gouge Away provided the direct support, riling up those who knew that band and surprising the rest of the room with the weight of their music. Singer Christina Michelle showed off some impressive pipes and even more impressive vocal control throughout the band’s lengthy set, while the guys behind her held down steady instrumentation.  


La Dispute took the stage with their usual no-frills entrance, instead waving to the screaming crowd and projecting images onto the backdrop behind them. The brief intro of “Rose Quartz” segued into “Fulton Street I &II”. From the first notes, the fans in the front of the nearly-full venue turned into a constantly moving mass, moshing to each song.

La Dispute is the type of band that awakens passionate emotions in their audiences. They’re regulars at The Nile, and they showed love for the venue, the state and the hospitality they’ve received since their days of playing the basement.


The rest of the evening was an exercise in catharsis. The crowd threw themselves towards the stage, pushing as close as possible to enigmatic frontman Jordan Dreyer, while the back of the venue turned into a circling mosh pit.

The band powered through 19 songs nearly nonstop, pausing only to thank their fans profusely for the love and support over the many years of the band’s career. Sweat and tears poured from many faces as La Dispute closed the night with “You and I in Unison” for another Mesa show in the books.


Story and photos by Olivia Khiel