It was a brisk Friday evening as eager concertgoers approached the infamous Wonder Ballroom in droves. Over the distant sounds of Harry Styles’s new album being played loudly out of Ubers as people were being dropped off, you could hear murmurs from Dijon fans eagerly asking their friends “Do you think he’ll play ‘Annie’ tonight?” You could feel the excitement in the air as we lined up in queue to get in to experience what we would all remember as a unique, iconic performance by the Maryland-based, truth-telling, singer-songwriter, Dijon.
Entering the venue, we see the stage is set with multiple tables of music gear ready-to-go. In an untraditional practice that’s usually reserved for bands of the likes of Grateful Dead, Dijon started his set without an opening act. The subdued warm lightning that lit the stage as the members walked on stayed static throughout the entirety of the show. This was also another welcomed break from the norm of spiritic flashing lights that can cause you to feel ill at times. The experience of this presentation made it feel more like you were a fly on the wall observing talented musicians having a coordinated jam session in their living room.
After getting the crowd’s attention with a greatly emotional dynamic performance of the song ‘Big Mike’s’ the group went into the track ‘Scratching’. The lyrics of this track were emphasized by Dijon pounding a lone floor tom drum madly with a mallet by his side. Dijon is visually emotionally tied to each syllable sung, and truly giving it his all tonight. The crowd erupted in a roar after the song started to peter out. After accepting this appraisal from the audience, Dijon stood up and addressed them to introduce the band. Notably he made great emphasis of band member Michael Gordon, as he graciously says “…he is the true mastermind behind this all.”
The show continued with only a couple more offhand comments like asking the audience if we knew his older songs, which they replied with an explosive cheer that filled the 108-year-old building with new life. Dijon patiently responds in a solemn mutter “…that’s fucking cool…” which lead us into 'Violence)' The crowd would start to sing along with great intent as if they lived these words just like the emotional, vulnerable man right in front of their eyes.
As the set came to an end, the crowd stayed stationary in their spots because they wanted to see an encore, they expected to see an encore, to think otherwise would be crazy. After a couple of minutes Dijon and company graced the stage again, of course accompanied by that same life affirming explosive roar of excitement from the audience. The song that started the night out is the same one that ended it. The group would play us all out with an energetic, sweat inducing performance of a reprised version of ‘Big Mike’s’