Kim Dracula: America’s Gradual Decline In Morale – Irving Plaza, NYC 3/10/24

Written by on March 19, 2024

The genre-bending metal artist dominates the New York City stage as they perform in their first-ever headline tour in the U.S. 

Review and Photos by Emily “Emol” McCormack – 

Alternative-metal-trap-screaming-everything-in-between artist Kim Dracula has quickly developed a following after their debut album A Gradual Decline In Morale released in July 2023. Just before, they were the opener for Avenged Sevenfold’s Life Is But A Dream Tour that same summer. 

After becoming an instant fan of this album (Unfortunately, this was just after they played in Camden, NJ in July – a mistake I have to live with forever…), I have been living my days just waiting for a new tour announcement – and to my luck (a fine thing,) Kim Dracula announced their first headline tour! America’s Gradual Decline In Morale Tour made a stop in New York City’s Irving Plaza – and this was certainly a night to remember. 

What sets Kim Dracula apart from many other artists is their emphasis on genre-bending and deviating from typical song structure and tone. If you’re looking for an aggressive change of pace and welcome experimental sound, their discography is the one for you (You can read my in-depth review of A Gradual Decline In Morale here!).

Before Dracula began their performance, the first opener of the night took the stage – American heavy metal band Tallah. Their set was outstanding, and I was very impressed with the quality of their sound. 

I love the changing inflection their vocalist has throughout their songs – there is a mix of both growl and clean vocals, and the switch between the two was flawless. They have this theatrical way of singing that is similar to that of Kim Dracula, making the pairing of the two perfect. My favorite song of theirs so far would have to be “Overconfidence” from their 2020 album Matriphagy, which I have listened to on repeat since the show!

Second of the night was artist Jeris Johnson, whose favorite song of mine seems to be the most popular of his – his 2023 single “When The Darkness Comes.” 

He is most known for “damn!” (2020), which he poked fun at playing this night in NYC before moving on to some songs he was a bit eager to showcase. 

What’s funny is (something that many of you may relate to), I do remember discovering Jeris Johnson from his viral TikTok making fun of how easy rock listeners are to please with ridiculous lyrics – and that track ended up being his beloved song “Battling My Demons” (which features BOI WHAT, who makes music inspired by SpongeBob SquarePants and sounds like the character Plankton – no, I cannot make this up). I found this song stuck in my head for a week so… clearly something worked!

While it may have been a highlight for some – I will spare you the details of the removal of clothes on stage (don’t worry, nothing got… too crazy…).

After these two amazing openers, it was finally time for the moment we’d all been waiting for – the one and only: Kim Dracula. 

While the title track played in the venue, Dracula emerged from a center-stage coffin and the crowd went WILD. Some fans have been with them since before their internet fame, and some like myself have only been listening since the summer, but all were ecstatic to finally see Dracula live. 

The set began with “Reunion and Reintegration,” a song that I’ve cited as one of the more aggressive tracks on their album. This opener got the crowd in the right mood for the rest of the night. 

They don’t shy away from covers – they are actually well known for their cover of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” – but covering Devo’s “Whip It” was certainly a welcomed surprise! 

Kim performed some of their biggest hits, including “Drown,” “Land Of The Sun,” and “Make Me Famous,” the song that was my first introduction to the solo artist. I was surprised that they didn’t perform “Seventy Thorns” since it’s one of the most streamed songs on the album, but I was very excited to hear “Kitty Kitty,” a song I incorrectly thought would have been skipped on the setlist! 

I was also very excited to hear that they are still performing some of their pre-debut-album songs that I’ve been blasting through my speakers since the fall – “Say Please” and “The Bard’s Last Note” were my favorites – excluding one the highlight of the night: 

Though the entire set was more than perfect, what really made it was the encore. After faking out the audience by leaving the stage, Dracula returned to perform their 2020 song “Killdozer.” About the true events of the 2004 Killdozer, and directly quoting the man himself, I wish I could probably explain my infatuation with this song. I love it. Half of the music team at WMSC can recite the opening lines word for word – all because I simply cannot get enough of this song. My friends who barely know anything about Kim Dracula saw the video I took of the song and freaked out… I hope this song always stays on their setlist no matter how much music they release over the years – This one should always be a staple. 

If you’re into heavy, experimental music – this is certainly the show for you. The crowd was incredibly respectful (no crowd surfers in NYC!), enthusiastic, and dressed exactly like one another (haha). 

Some mosh pits were encouraged throughout the night, but none got out of hand. The security of Irving Plaza was anticipating a rowdy audience, but I didn’t see anything happen that caused panic (their preparedness is certainly appreciated though!). 

In case you’ve read my past concert reviews and you were wondering if my concert partner in crime was present – yes, my mom was there. I dragged her to see Kim Dracula. And she LOVED THEM! Who knows… maybe Kim has given my mom a new appreciation for metal and all things “screaming music” (perhaps not, but I can hope). 

Kim Dracula is continuing their headline America’s Gradual Decline In Morale Tour through the end of March. If you missed a nearby date, you’re in luck! Kim is joining In This Moment’s The Godmode Tour alongside Mike’s Dead and I See Stars, making the local of all local stops – in Montclair’s own Wellmont Theatre in May 2024! I can’t wait to see Kim Dracula perform again later this year!


Now: where should you start? If you want to really be swept off your feet, the single “Make Me Famous” is the heart of this album (or, arguably, “Drown” is as well). When I’m looking for a good scream (aka, the tracks I play at full volume to get out my frustrations of having a bad day), I immediately run to “Reunion And Reintegration” and “Divine Retribution.” Some of the more tame, less-genre-bending tracks include “Kitty Kitty,” “Are You?,” dark-ballad “Rosé” (save for the conclusion), or their cover of the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris” (the only clean track on this album). Songs like “Superhero,” “Land Of The Sun,” “Luck Is A Fine Thing (Give It A Chance)” and “Undercover” will certainly keep you on your toes. Alternatively, you can enjoy this album head-on with a complete listen-through- and this, of course, would be the way I highly recommend it.