If fans of Davey Havok thought he was sassy in AFI, that’s nothing compared to the rock star’s persona in DREAMCAR. The supergroup — which formed secretly nearly three years ago with Havok on vocals and No Doubt’s Tom Dumont (guitar), Tony Kanal (bass) and Adrian Young (drums) — performed an energetic 14-song set full of originals and two covers at the Music Box in San Diego on April 19. For many in the sold-out crowd, this was their first time hearing new tunes from DREAMCAR’s debut album, which will be released May 12. The band officially announced its existence last year, though were still very much a mystery as their name and genre had not yet been revealed. For some already-diehard fans, who had also attended recent shows at the Consellation Room in Santa Ana, The Roxy in Los Angeles and Coachella, the San Diego show meant a chance to sing along to the songs they have been learning at the concerts.
While the entire audience was moving and dancing during the show, most were able to sing along when the band performed three songs that have already been released, “Kill for Candy,” “Born to Lie” and “All the Dead Girls.” DREAMCAR also performed the songs the night before on Jimmy Kimmel Live, which Havok considered a testament to the band’s rise to stardom (because no one knows who AFI or No Doubt are, right?)”You see us on the tv?” he asked. “Yeah, we’re famous. That’s all that matters.”
The No Doubt boys also shined on stage, showcasing the talents that made the Orange County band skyrocket on the Billboard charts. Even after playing together for more than 30 years, their chemistry was still completely evident, as they smiled at one another during the songs and interacted with one another.
If anyone was going to essentially replace Gwen Stefani, Havok was ideal. (No Doubt’s not officially broken up, but at this point, it’s safe to say they’re done for at least a while.) While Stefani does command an audience, Havok also does so extremely well.
Havok, who dressed in a pink suit and would take breaks sitting on the stage with his legs crossed when it was time for a break in vocals, continually interacted with the crowd during the performance. Unlike No Doubt shows, which have not been held in smaller clubs for decades, the intimate venues for the DREAMCAR offered fans the opportunity to be up-close with the bandmates with little or no barricade between them. Havok soaked that all in.
During a cover of David Bowie’s Moonage Daydream, he walked along seats on the side to make his way into the crowd. He and a fan put their arms around each other as they sang along to the song. DREAMCAR also performed a cover of INXS’s “Don’t Change” toward the end of the set, which concluded with “Kill for Candy,” the most known song amongst the crowd.
The band will perform at this year’s Weenie Roast and also recently announced a string of East Coast dates. For more information, visit dreamcarmusic.com.
Be sure to check out our photos from the San Diego show.