w/ The Skins
San Francisco, CA
January 22, 2017
Written by Jared Stossel
My expectations for this show: pop music, some rock elements, and an excited band. What I got far surpassed my expectations. I have no idea why I hadn't caught on to DNCE's music sooner, but my God, they are the definition of 'performance'. The band, comprised of vocalist Joe Jonas, drummer Jack Lawless, guitarist JinJoo Lee, and bassist Cole Whittle, are the most 'anti-pop' pop band I've seen. What I mean is that they perform pop music, but strip away any social niceties or general conventions that are found within the genre and its usual portrayal. Things may be planned out, but there are many spontaneous moments. The music is catchy and has a great number of hooks, but there is still a rawness about their playing abilities.
DNCE played for an hour and fifteen minutes, and it's the first time in a very long time that I've wished a band would play longer simply because I just wanted to keep watching them go. There was such an electricity making its way throughout the venue, whether on the stage with the band or anywhere throughout the sold-out crowd that packed the legendary Fillmore Auditorium on a rainy evening in January.
Hearing their album and seeing them live are two completely different ballgames. It's one thing to just hear DNCE; it's another thing to see them altogether. From the moment they stepped out on stage to a Star Wars themed intro, their faces covered with Darth Vader masks, their hands wielding lightsabers, the band jumped straight into "Naked", a track from their self-titled (and thus far, only) album. They played a great deal of original material, mixing it in with a few different covers (including a fun mashup at the end of "Wannabe" and "Oops I Did It Again"). There was a nice breather when the band sat down to perform an acoustic track, but the energy was brought right back up to ten when they took their spots back behind their electric instruments.
They closed with their highly-revered single, "Cake By The Ocean", complete with CO2 and confetti cannons erupting over the audience. Fans walked out, pleasantly satisfied with the experience. This may be one of the last times we see them in such a small setting; give it a couple years and they'll be headlining arenas. If Donald Trump's presidency is truly the signifier of the end of the world, then DNCE is hosting the party for the rebellion at Earth's end, and we're going out with a fucking bang.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.