David Michael Frank’s Private Party Tour made its stop in Dallas, TX Sunday night at a quaint event space on Commerce Street. Nestled between the nightlife of the Deep Ellum neighborhood was a private oasis of laughter, despite despair, sponsored by David Michael Frank’s electric personality, contagious smile, and unfiltered talent.
Opening the show for him was the powerhouse of vocals that have made themselves known to the world via TikTok — RiotHouse. Riothouse is an “independent collective of alternative artists based in Nashville, TN.” Three of the voices featured on tour Sunday night were Enzi, Chloey Wilson (of LXIX), and Jack The Underdog. Overall, Riothouse was an incredibly vibrant group of performers to witness on stage. They enthusiastically supported each other’s music and were no strangers to the stage. Though the tour manager confirmed that Dallas had the biggest crowd on tour so far, RiotHouse performed like they were accustomed to being on stage in front of tens of thousands.
Each of them sang with their whole soul. With tracks like Jack The Underdog’s “Fences (STFU)” and LXIX’s “Wish You Bad”, they embodied that angsty emo sound with emotive and confessional lyrics we’ve been craving since the glorious reign of My Chemical Romance and The Used. Enzi’s performance of the recently released “Sic ‘Em” was a combination of rage, revenge, and revelry – think Hayley Williams of Paramore. While their lyrics were certainly emotionally charged, Sunday night’s Private Party Tour became a serene escape from the vicissitudes of existence as the crowd absorbed the pain and emitted camaraderie.
The Private Party goers were treated to an upturn in style from a duo of Dallas natives. This2 – comprised of Evan Carr and Preston Eggert – brought a distinctly folk-pop vibe to the event. The pair of best friends had absolutely angelic harmonies and their lyrics were moving and catchy. This2’s performance of their most recent single “Normal” was all but perfect. For fans of The Lumineers, Caamp, and Passenger, Normal pleads for a return to the before – before the pain, before the heartbreak, before we become aware of the falling apart. It’s vulnerable, heartfelt, well-written, and utterly relatable. Their next single “More” is set to release this Friday, and you’d be wise to pre-save the gem right now.
DAVID MICHAEL FRANK
With the crowd aptly warmed up, David Michael Frank finally took the stage in the most ridiculously dramatic way possible for a venue of that size. Running on stage from the other side of the room in matching sparkly silver tracksuits with his drummer Justin VanDommelen, he launched straight into the high-energy song “So What.” Within the first 30 seconds of his time on stage, you knew that this was going to be an entertaining night. If RiotHouse had stage presence, David Michael Frank was stage presence. His energy was contagious. Frank performs with a constant smile on his face despite the topics of his songs being pretty depressing. The Private Party Tour was treated to multiple unreleased singles that featured just the right amount of those signature David Michael Frank high notes that defy the abilities of the average man and set him apart as a contender for the title of King of #PunkRockTikTok.
Between songs, David Michael was an absolute comic. When technical difficulties arose like a missing guitar strap and unplugged PA system, DMF didn’t skip a beat in entertaining the audience. His home is in the blinding lights. Cracking jokes, going acapella, telling stories, and even inviting the audience to his home in Nashville. Despite the fun and games, David Michael Frank was gracious. His gratitude was palpable and he expressed it time after time – being sure to mention that regardless of where his music career goes he will “forever be grateful for the experience he’s having with the Private Party Tour.”
“Novacane” was written on a sweaty night at 3 a.m., capturing the stresses and disappointments resulting from a life filled with anxiety. It’s heavy, it’s loud, it’s overflowing with anguish. Most importantly, it has a killer instrumental section that lets David and Justin just absolutely whale on the drums and guitar. Together, they then treated the Private Partygoers with the smoothest, most punk cover of the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris”. With the vigor and emotion with which this song was performed, you would think they really did write the song themselves (like they joked about). If you weren’t crying yet then the second half of the set was going to wreck you.
The unreleased single “Talk to Myself” is David Michael Frank’s attempt to communicate the trials of life in a letter to himself. The lyrics were piercing – some days you’ll feel so high, some days you’ll walk through hell – and encapsulated a genuine discussion in the mirror with a past self. It gave the slightly disturbing upbeat ballad vibes that Twenty One Pilots mastered many moons ago.
When I decided to come to a pop punk show I wasn’t expecting to hear both Taylor Swift and Céline Dion covered within an hour of each other, but “My Heart Will Go On” is actually DMF’s second highest streaming cover on Spotify with over 2 million streams. The punk rendition of this 90s classic showed off Frank’s tremendous vibrato and 5+ octave range. The fabulous Brandi Fox was spontaneously invited on stage and was absolutely amazing, matching the zeal with which David performed this heartfelt ballad. Brandi is a performer themself and their YouTube and Spotify information will be linked at the bottom of this article.
Private Party Goers will appreciate the authenticity with which David Michael Frank describes the meanings of his songs. Each song has a story and DMF was eager to overshare it. The journey that David Michael’s been on, much like each of us, has been long. Life is spent figuring out how to live life. We can choose to exist in an undetermined grey, or we can fight for our dreams. “Carve” the second to last song performed Sunday night is a song about fighting for a dream. With lyrics like “Can you hear my voice in the void of silence”, it conveys an eclipse of hope from hopelessness. For one last song, David Michael Frank graced the audience with more of his mahogany melodies, asking if there was “something here worth saving.”
Overall, the Private Party Tour was exactly that: a personal journey into the heartbreak, pain, anxiety, and stress making it, not just in this industry but in the world. Intimate shows like this one have always had an element of authenticity that just can’t be replicated in a stadium with 80,000 people. There’s a unique layer to the art that’s unveiled when you can make eye contact with every person in the room. The blood, sweat, heartache, and tears that went into creating the Private Party Tour show that people are still out there making music genuinely because they love the art and love the people it connects them to. In an increasingly disconnected world, David Michael Frank chose to embark on a journey – in an RV – to foster meaningful human connections with fans old and new, treating everyone with the warmth of family.
All pictures provided by Andi Goodson (@andigdsn on Instagram).