• Sadie Maude

Dream State - Manchester Club Academy - 28/10/19

It can be hard to drag yourself out of the comfort of your home on these dreary autumn nights, but those who attended the Dream State gig on Monday were definitely rewarded for their efforts! A packed venue full of smiling faces and 3 bands ready to have the time of their lives is always a recipe for success!

The night kicked off with an electric performance from Static Dress. The prolonged intro mixed with the captivating red lighting had the audiences attention from the get go. Their performance was attention grabbing to say the least! Their roaring vocals and insane stage presence set the tone for the rest of the night! While they’re not quite in the realms of metal, the intensity of their performance was through the roof, and left the audience unable to stand still in preparation for the next performance from Swedish band, Normandie.

Normandie kick-started their set with an almost orchestral introduction which was a quick change of tone from Static Dress. However, this soon changed when the drums came thudding in, bringing an almost battle-like feel. This Swedish four piece had the audience wrapped around their little finger! Their fan base was evident, people were screaming the lyrics back at them and the pits broke out almost instantly! The only thing better than their astounding performance of ‘White Flag’ had to be the surprise performance of new song, ‘Jericho’ which is guaranteed to have left everyone desperately waiting for their next release.

With the audience more than sufficiently warmed up, it was time for Dream State. They opened their mind-blowing set with ‘Made Up Smile’, a particularly popular track from their debut album, Primrose Path. Once again, they had the audience buzzing right from the start, with pits breaking out as early as the second song!

Despite Primrose Path being released only weeks before the performance, the dedication of the fans was evident, with lyrics being passionately sung back to front-woman CJ. It is safe to say the album has been very well-received! Dream State also surprised the crowd with their debut performance of ‘Spitting Lies’ which was definitely a welcomed addition to the set!

Something that stood out in particular about the set was singer, CJ. Throughout the performance she radiated positivity and openness, it was hard not to smile while watching her. The band and herself all seemed to genuinely be enjoying themselves which makes a world of difference from the viewpoint of the audience. CJ danced her way through the set and had a real connection with the crowd, from climbing the barrier to sing to them, to inviting people on stage to dance alongside her, CJ did all she could to promote a sense of belonging and community. Her repetition of messages such as: “We’re here to live!” summed up the purpose of their performance. They wanted people to have a good time, appreciate the amazing things in life, and be real with themselves, all messages which also comes across in their album.

It isn’t often that you leave a gig saying that you feel empowered, but seeing such a strong performance from a female lead, alongside such positive messages, means it’s hard not to feel good. This, alongside stunning performances from their supports, made for a pretty brilliant night!

Photos by Charlotte Claber