Jonny Craig performs at Trees, talks tour

Musician Jonny Craig is currently a solo act, but has been the lead vocalist for the bands Dance Gavin Dance, Emarosa and Ghost Runner On Third. (Courtesy of


Dallas’ Deep Ellum is often stereotyped as the “hipster” part of the city.

Some might even say it’s Dallas’ own little piece of Austin, Texas.

On Thursday Oct. 17, no place held truer to the stereotype than the small music venue on Elm Street known as Trees.

At 7 p.m. a crowd of beanies, piercings, all black ensembles and sneakers gathered in excitement for a performance by Jonny Craig on his much anticipated “The Souls on Fire” tour.

“It just seemed like a good option to try something new and just restart all over,” Craig said in a serious, almost monotonous voice.

He’s holding a cold beer as he leans back into a black leather couch.

His attention shifts from conversation to whatever is playing on the medium-sized television in front of him.

Craig started his music career in 2005 singing for Dance Gavin Dance, a progressive rock band that began in Sacramento, Calif.

After having constant conflicts with his band members Craig was kicked out in
late 2007.

By this time, it was a known fact that Craig had serious issues with drug abuse.

Still, two weeks after leaving Dance Gavin Dance, Emarosa took Craig as its lead singer.

Once again, quarrels with his band members along with his reluctance to stay sober resulted in him leaving after only three years.

He tried to work things out with Dance Gavin Dance in 2012, but by August of the same year the band announced its attempted reunion had been unsuccessful.

Craig finally decided to go solo and is believed to be sober since.

“I like what I’m doing right now and I like where I’m at,” Craig said.

Craig said his music can best be described in two words: sexual and soulful.

Maybe it’s a combination of his soulful lyrics and apathetic demeanor that keeps the fans around, particularly the female ones.

Maybe it’s just part of his charm.

“I was going to take a picture with him but I didn’t want to give him that satisfaction,”Alyssa Nelson said.

Nelson, 21, has been a fan of Craig since she was 14.

Nelson claims she’s absolutely in love with his voice.

While his indifferent demeanor might suggest otherwise, Craig said going solo was probably the best decision he’s made for his career.

“This is the first time I’ve seen him as a solo act so I’m excited,” Rachel DeRuby said.

“I just love him he’s been my favorite vocalist for a very long time,” she said.

Like Nelson, DeRuby has been a loyal fan since her teenage years.

Craig might not be a well-known mainstream artist but he does have a fairly large fan base, which became clear as the night went on.

As it got closer to his performance, the crowd at Trees grew larger and the mob of girls pushing each other near the front of the stage grew louder.

“I think it’s going pretty well, you know I got a lot of die hard fans that stuck with me through everything so in the end I think it will be worth it,” Craig said.

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