There’s something special about the walk up a staircase into a small concert venue. It could be the dark atmosphere that’s akin to a dive bar; maybe it’s the list of past performing acts that cover the stairwell walls. On September 22, California-based band Dream, Ivory joined the names that line the walls of DC9, leaving a legacy of their performance.

But before Dream, Ivory began, opener carwash took to the stage with an accompanying band. From the moment carwash, also known as Garrett Seasmans, stepped on stage, he remarked on how comfortable the crowd made him, remarking how it looked like his friends from home. Though it was their first time performing together, the group played with a sense of ease, as if it was a casual practice session, not a concert. Carwash might have been the opening act, but it’d be remiss to say that he didn’t gain at least a handful of new fans, if not solidified the approval of the entire venue.

The Dream, Ivory brothers’ entrance was marked by cheers, camera flashes, and palpable excitement. Wearing oversized hoodies and slinging guitars with a subdued confidence, the band began their setlist with a bang. The group alternated between popular hits such as “Scorpion” and “Dream, Ivory” and surprise tracks from their unreleased album, About A Boy. At certain points, the duo slowed the energy down, and talked with the crowd, echoing carwash’s hometown sentiments. If carwash excited the curious crowd with his act, then Dream, Ivory kept them that way and wanting more.

Despite the soon-approaching end of the set, the performers themselves were hesitant to end the night’s energy. Dream, Ivory’s accompanying drummer motioned to the duo, gauging interest in an encore; the interest was reciprocated. Small on-stage jokes and longer off-stage conversations– this is an fitting image of DC9’s energy on that Thursday night. Both parties became more comfortable, danced more freely, and smiled a little wider– and the relationship between artist and fan became stronger throughout the night.

Both performers stayed to meet and talk with the audience, and fans then became friends with the artists. The take-down of the equipment was done in between conversations and photo requests, and the moment felt– for lack of better words– authentic. Hopefully, carwash and Dream, Ivory return to the DC music scene, experiment with their live music capabilities, and find more of their hometown friends in their future audiences.

Listen to Dream, Ivory’s newest album, About a Boy, here.

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