Photos by: Gracy Watts
Even waiting in line to enter, there was a sense of excitement and lightheartedness surrounding us all.
With their third album, People in Motion, being released earlier this month, The Novo was just the 5th U.S. stop on Dayglow’s tour. Since their first albums were focused on showcasing their versatility and making a name for themselves, Dayglow has stated that the new album is quite the opposite: written with “no rules” and made to be performed live for fans to dance and sing along to. In that night, Dayglow achieved just that, creating an atmosphere of joy and exuberance.
Entering the venue, there was a mad dash to receive a wristband and join the floor. Regardless of where you were seated, floor or balcony, there was a clear view of the stage, dreamily bathed in blue light as the clock ticked closer to 8:00pm.
On the dot, the conversations faded as Ritt Momney opened the show. Though this was one of the biggest crowds he’s played, Momney put on a masterclass, captivating the audience with his bedroom pop songs “Something, in General” and “Head Start,” a perfect balance of slower beats with high energy lyrics, before his popular cover of “Put Your Records On.” He is currently facing backlash for covering a song about Black girlhood as a white man. While Momney has since addressed the controversy, he continues to benefit from its success and include it in his setlist. Nevertheless, the crowd got on their feet as they sang along, warming up for the show to come.
With Momney finishing his portion of the concert, the lights came back on and the countdown continued, this time waiting eagerly for the same clock to read 9:00pm. As the screen illuminated to display utopian sunset, Dayglow entered the stage with the band members wearing white jumpsuits while frontman Sloan Struble sported black slacks, a white button up and blue striped tie. They opened with “Radio,” creating an experience focused on music instead of a spectacle. The song itself, starting “I don’t need too much, just a stereo, and some rock and roll, on a real guitar” echo their focus on creating music, even producing their songs themselves. As the song continued, the clock turned back to when the music industry wasn’t so focused on the visual but on the sound itself.
As Sloan hosted his personal dance party, running around the stage and grooving with each band member and the fans, vibrant gradients and patterns of purple, pink, orange and white flashed about.
The band absorbed the energy as the audience gave it, dancing and jumping as the music took a life of its own. Even among technical difficulties, there was never a lapse in the buzz of excitement. Songs like “Deep End” and “Listerine” had the audience screaming the lyrics back to the stage and, even during instrumental breaks, the floor stayed in motion. “Deep End,” a song on the new album, starts slower but builds as the drum enters into an invitation to “come take me, into the deep end, show me how to let it go.” On the other hand, “Listerine,” from Dayglow’s first album Fuzzybrain, has fewer changes in tempo and is constantly upbeat. The dichotomy between the two exemplify how much Dayglow has matured to draw the crowd in and harness the energy to make the highs of their music even higher.
Seemingly the climax of the concert, Dayglow played fan favorite “Can I Call You Tonight?” as fans belted out every word, seamlessly transitioning with “Close To You” to end the set. Unrelenting the night that was had, chants of “one more time!” and “Dayglow!” filled the Novo as the band entered and Sloan took to the stage for the last time that night. Ending with the encore, “Second Nature,” the first song of People In Motion, fans danced like it wasn’t just second nature, but ‘the first thing that comes to [their] being.’
Dayglow’s ability to shrink a 2,400-person concert into a dance party with your closest friends, Sloan included, coupled with their touch-of-funk songs continue to be their siren song, drawing fans in to appreciate live music in its purest form. An unforgettable performance, the night will be re-lived as a core memory until the next party.