Words & Photos by Greg Jacobs
April 5, 2017 – The Constellation Room (Observatory), Santa Ana, CA
Tonight was the debut of Dreamcar. Their first live show. Just in case you are not familiar with this soon-to-be-filling-stadiums-band, they are Davey Havok from AFI (vocals) with Tom Dumont (guitar), Adrian Young (drums) and Tony Kanal (bass), all from No Doubt.
Dreamcar are on their initial tour, hitting some “major markets” and severely underplaying the venues (playing venues that are far too small for them). At the Observatory, while the main room laid dark and holds 1500 people, the Constellation Room legally holds only 350 people and sold out in 5 minutes. It would have been nice to have some elbow room in the bigger room, but the band and crowd were both having a great time and band members really seemed to be enjoying the intimacy that a smaller venue offers.
Sound-wise, the best way to describe them is: They are a 1980’s new wave band. An unapologetic, 1980’s new wave band. Think Duran Duran, Flock of Seagulls with a little Bauhaus thrown in. They even covered “Don’t Change” by INXS. Davey, decked out in a pink suit, pink creepers and pink flamingo socks, is charismatic as hell… The crowd could not keep their eyes off him as he paced and posed his way across the stage. There were points in the show where the screams of the girls in the audience were louder than the band. I saw a girl take a picture of her index finger touching Davey mic stand. His mic stand! Adrian was having a great time behind his red sparkled drum kit and will get the award for biggest smile and funniest faces made for the night. Tony might have wanted a little more room to roam around, but this stage kept him in place for most of the night while Tom was soaking it all in.
Soon, Dreamcar will be playing much larger venues. If you are lucky enough to have a ticket for this first jaunt of theirs, save your ticket stub, it will be one of those shows you will brag about later and you might need proof to show that you were there.
Sharp/Shock, who is on tour with Dreamcar, opened the show. To save time between bands, both bands had their drum kits set up on stage. This caused the bass drum of the Sharp/Shock drum kit to literally be 2 inches from the front edge of the stage. Which is right where I was standing. Thankfully, I remembered my earplugs. Sharp/Shock are a great band, they are a Fred Perry clad trio playing power pop the way it’s supposed to sound. I hear The Jam, The Clash, maybe a little Elvis Costello… Good stuff. I plan to follow this band around like a deadhead … Would that be a Fred-Head? Sharp/Shock’s debut LP is available through Alkaline Trio’s label, Heart&Skull.