The coronavirus pandemic has uprooted a lot in the music industry — venue closures, tour and festival cancellations, delayed album releases — but that didn't stop post hardcore's dominant unit, Dance Gavin Dance, from charting at No. 14 on the Billboard Top 200 without the help of any physical sales.

The band's ninth full-length LP, Afterburner, dropped (via Rise Records) on streaming services April 24, however, due to production delays, the album's physical release (vinyl, CDs, cassettes, you get it) was pushed back to July. That means any physical pre-orders were not counted toward the band's first week sales numbers.

In addition to affecting first week numbers through physical copies, the pandemic obviously wreaked havoc on touring plans. The band were set to embark on a largely sold-out tour that was due to start in Los Angeles the same day the city went into lockdown.

They and all the support bands had already loaded into the Palladium in Hollywood for the sold-out show that night when the entire tour had to be canceled, including the band’s Swanfest festival (which has since be rescheduled for September). As might seem obvious, but still worth noting, live shows help bands sell physical copies of an album along with other merchandise.

Still, the band managed to pull big numbers from streaming with Afterburner. The album has hit 16.4 million streams to date.

In the end, Afterburner ended up receiving the equivalent of 23,211 album sales from streaming in its first week. The band's previous highest first week was around 30,000 sales for 2018's Artificial Selection.

In addition to hitting No. 14 on the Top 200 (the second highest charting new release for the week behind YoungBoy Never Broke Again's 38 Baby 2, which hit No. 1), the album reached No. 1 on a number of charts, including Current Rock Albums and Current Hard Rock Albums and Current Alternative Albums.

Had things gone according to plan, it’s pretty evident this would have been DGD’s biggest release to date. So knowing the challenges, why keep the original release day?

Frontman Tilian Pearson says it all came down to faith in the band’s fanbase.

“We have an incredibly supportive fanbase, so we were confident that if we decided to give them the digital version of the album on the original release date, they would reward us,” Pearson shares with Loudwire. “They came through and beat our expectations. It’s a rare luxury to have fans that inspire us not only to make better music, but to consistently deliver. Hopefully our relationship will continue to flourish.“

If you want to learn more about the band, check out this podcast exploring how Dance Gavin Dance became one of the biggest bands among their peers.

Check out Afterburner, out now via Rise Records.

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