When it comes to perfect duos, we all can think of some: peanut butter and jelly, cookies and milk, Tanner and Austin, etc. These are undeniably some of the best pairs in the world and this weekend we saw another pair emerge: Dillon and Alison. After the lights out single, ‘Lost My Mind’, the two have set out on a cross-country tour to have the whole world looking for their brains. The two already being established as two of our favorite artists, before the single or tour, made sure that we had at LEAST two tickets locked-in. This weekend marked the first of two shows that we get to experience; this post marks the first findings.
Express Live goes down as the largest indoor venue that we have been to for an EDM show. The place is absolutely massive! In three words, Express could be highlighted as massive, concrete, and simple.
Massive needs very little explanation. The place houses an absurd amount of people. It featured a pit in front of the stage, then a tier above that the bar floor, and a story above that was the mezzanine with sitting room. Express’ size made a sold-out show even more impressive, because of how many people really could be inside. For us, however, the size did have one drawback; the venue felt like it had too much space. Maybe it was the ceilings or the fact that the air didn’t get super hot, but something about Express felt too much. In a way, it felt like an outdoor festival, but cold and stone. It didn’t ruin the show by any means but is just something to note.
Concrete again seems to go without need explanation. The entire venue was one smooth slab of concrete. From the second you entered to the front of the stage, you were on glassy stone all night. It contributed to the cool temperature of the venue and made dancing a breeze.
The word, simple, goes to describe the great flow of the venue. The entrance and screening process flows smoothly and jets you to the next steps in the process of getting to the dancefloor. The bar an entrance to the second level are directly in front of you, after passing through security, and the merch booth is to your right. This set-up is wonderful because it shows you the thing you are most willing to buy when walking in, and the thing you are most willing to buy on the way out: drinks in, merch out. Moving past those vendors, Express puts you onto the upper dancefloor, which features an extension of the bar, mini cash-only bar, pizza vendor, entrance to the bathrooms (and smoke area), and a view of the stage. The main dance floor is the largest area of the venue and is only cut off by the pit that’s dug in the middle of it. The flow of the venue is very linear and makes it almost impossible to get lost- until you add the hundreds of people. For such a crowd-drawing duo, Express was an amazing venue to give Dillon and Alison the fan base their show deserved. Which brings us perfectly into the show and artist breakdown!
Diablo: A young artist that burns the stage up. Diablo had not only a great setlist with smooth transitions, but also had a great way to command the crowd. He asked his audience to be involved in the music with him and, to reward everyone, dropped some amazing music. Opening for a superstar duo probably is not the easiest task, but Diablo absolutely works it! There is no doubt this tour is making him a must-see-more-of artist for everyone in the crowd.
Dillon Francis: Our all-time-favorite comes to the stage first, and brings the absolute heat. With a phenomenal ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ interlude featuring “Tom Sucks” (shoutout Thomas Falcone) that ran into the absolutely amazing ‘Not Butter’ rework to open his show, Dillon brought something a new and hot, to the Express Live stage. He featured many of his staple songs, but brought them reworked and reimagined into the show. There was a lot of musical flare throughout his entire set. Dillon is able to imagine a show that features so much variation and excitement and glue it together with his own music. On top of all that, the light show and visuals were a home-run (Gerald-cam and Mickey Mouse being two of our top pick). We are excited to see if everything stays the same for part two, in Pitt, or if he brings something different.
Alison Wonderland: She pairs her voice, her cello, and her amazing DJ-ing ability to craft a show that features emotion and energy. Alison brought to the stage so many forms of herself and every one of them impressed us. It is just crazy to look how much talent is stuffed into those black Carhart overalls. Her visuals were darker and elemental, which really brought out that raw-feeling her music inspires. It all just fits together so well. She uses all of her different talents, at the perfect times, and just beckons your attention. Then she closes her set by bringing Dillon back out to go B2B! Watching the two interact on stage and move into blowing the house away with ‘Lost My Mind’ is a moment we will never forget… and cannot wait to experience A SECOND TIME!
Done Well and Needs Work
The concert was crafted very well. The venue was a great choice because it allowed for such a large crowd. The artist line-up was lights out. The number of things to spend money on was for sure enough. The space between everyone and everything was adequate and allowed for the perfect experience for whatever type of concert-goer you are. Even security was efficient and very kind. Another thing that is worth noting, is the diversity of listeners that were brought in. We saw such a variety of “people-type”, and they were all losing their minds together. For Dillon and Alison, this should ring as a testament to their talent and draw.
With such a huge and exciting experience, there were only two unavoidable drawbacks. The first being the overwhelming size of the venue. Like we talked about before, the venue was so large it had a strange sort of feeling that was brought along with it. With such a drawing duo, it is impossible to NOT have them in the biggest venue possible- so we get it. The large person count is what brings us to our second aspect that needs work- the bar. With so many people, it is very hard to have a bar that is big enough or keeps up. So crowds gather around the watering hole and everyone has to wait. Again this is just a product of the sold-out crowd, which is not an issue. Express was not unprepared either, because they had the other cash-only drink stations to try and combat the crowding. So as usual, these are just circumstantial problems.
Lost My Mind Tour is the greatest thing to hit the world since sliced bread. The night brought our favorite artists to our city and left us hungry and ready for more. So we will be watching the videos until this weekend when we get to do it all over again. As always a huge thank you to Express, the tour, and everyone for coming out. A GIANT special thank you to our friend Thomas Falcone (superstar photographer) for getting our special edition Lost My Mind tour shirts to Dillon Francis and crew. Check out his work on Dillon’s socials and here! Check out the shirts we made on our Insta, and stay tuned for the second entry to “Finding The Mind A Two-Part Journey” coming next Monday!
Until next time.