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Show Review: Dead Poet Society gets rowdy at sold out Crescent Ballroom

The secret is out: Dead Poet Society put on a hell of a performance — gritty, rowdy, and with an open pit. And the line down the block that formed well before doors (in 100° heat, no less) proves the group can draw well beyond the capacity of the small clubs they’re playing on this run. 

The Fission Tour, supporting the album of the same name, is still nothing to sneeze at. In Phoenix at least, it’s the biggest headliner DPS has done to date. But it still has the energy of a basement rager, in a good way. Nobody on this tour takes themselves too seriously, and nobody is hiding behind production. 

On the contrary, supporting artist Andrés was interacting with the production: an onscreen AI robot that poked fun at him throughout the opening set. Everything from his Peaky Blinders style outfit to his music not being as good as Billie Eilish was on the table. Between songs — “My Future Ex Wife,” “Casual Bender,” and “Cada Mes” were just a few — Andrés had short conversations with the robot, and the crowd looked on with amusement. 

Fortunately, there were no extra characters to distract from the madness on stage during Dead Poet Society’s headlining set. The group wasted no time plunging into “Hard To Be God” and single “Running in Circles” to set the tone, a jolt of caffeine straight to the system to combat the late hour. And the fans were head banging along with the drums. 

The energy built up and up until finally frontman Jack Underkofler shouted it was time to open up the pit. The fans swarmed (pun intended, because DPS was playing “.swvrm.” during a later moshing moment) and knocked around like they’ve never been happier. And that right there is the essence of the basement rager. 

The live show is a proof point DPS hasn’t forgotten their roots. While radio-friendly cuts like “Running” and “My Condition” are surefire standouts in their catalog, the less refined songs draw just as much fanfare. They’re why arguably most of the fans show up. And so the band closed out the night with “Uto” and “.intoodeep.” — a true one-two punch that would leave anyone breathless.