I think this is actually my first post about a dredg show. They've been my favorite band for years now, but they've only released one album since I started this blog. I saw them a couple of times before I started posting about shows.
We walked in during Judgement Day's set - an electric violin, a cello, and a drummer, playing with the ferocity of a metal band. It was really good, really random, and about the sort of band I'd always thought dredg should have open for them. Torche were up next - they've lost a guitarist since the last time I saw them, which makes their acoustics a little easier to pick out. Some of their songs suffer a bit for not having a dedicated rhythm guitarist, but not noticably. Their attitude has ratcheted up a notch or 10 in the rock silliness department, and now involves a lot more facial hair. Torche were definitely the odd band out - there were a few metalheads, but it was mostly dredg-obsessed fans looking for something more epic.
It's amazing to me that Gavin from dredg can still be as emotionally connected to songs from El Cielo as he was when I saw them play in basements and bowling alleys in Chicago 6 years ago. Their set focused mostly on songs from their upcoming album The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion. Most of the dedicated fans in the audience had heard via myspace, youtube, and whatnot - dredg has been working the songs into their sets since Coachella last year at least.
New for this tour, though they added a song called "Lightswitch" for which they brought Judgement Day back on stage to play strings. They then played "Delta" and "Matroshka" while they had the opportunity to include strings. Seeing 6 people on stage to perform such lush arrangements makes more sense when you hear dredg's albums, especially those recorded at skywalker ranch, with the production budget of a major label. That's what makes it so much more amazing when it's only the 4 of them, and they carry all of the instrumentation of the album in a live setting.