Last night, indie-pop band Dayglow embraced fun-loving innocence and quirky suburban sound at the Summit Music Hall. The stripped-back show, which included all the essentials of a great performance, nothing more and nothing less, allowed the band to stick to the formulas that make their songs so enjoyable. There wasn’t much experimentation here, outside of some wonderfully placed guitar solos, and that’s okay., their simple but effective song structure, combined with a great stage presence and youthful energy, created an undeniably enjoyable and pleasantly accessible concert experience.
Summit Music Hall is the perfect size for an up-and-coming band like Dayglow. The sold-out show was packed from wall to wall, but there was a feeling that if it was much bigger, the intimacy and innocence that make their show so enjoyable might have been lost. The crowd knew almost every chorus and sang as loud as they could, completely filling the space with tangible admiration. Dayglow has a coherent, sincere style that doesn’t need any grand opera or fleshed-out string section. In fact, that might take away from what the band represents – a friendly, uncomplicated sound created to escape a harsh and confusing world.
It was immediately clear how excited the band was to be playing a sold-out show outside of their Austin, Texas home base. As Struble goofily danced his way to the microphone, carelessly flaring his arms in a pleasantly uncoordinated manner, it was clear he was enjoying every step across the stage.
They began the show with “Something,” a playful ode to embracing yourself amidst social media pressures and pitfalls, followed by the disco-pop tune “Medicine,” which featured a lighthearted guitar duet and a groovy baseline strangely reminiscent of Tame Impala’s “The Less I Know the Better.” The crowd mirrored the disco rhythm and Stuble’s goofy dancing, engulfed in casual carelessness as each person moved in whatever way they felt appropriate. The crowd could not care less about the way they looked as they moved two left feet from side to side.
This energy continued throughout the night with tracks like “Fair Game,” and “Balcony,” two songs with insanely catchy melodies and relatable narratives about growing up and making sense of the world. These themes remain consistent throughout Dayglow’s discography, especially on Struble’s debut album Fuzzybrain, an exploration of the trials and tribulations of the 18-year-old’s strange headspace during life’s awkward transition periods.
Dayglow did feature some pleasantly surprising bits and pieces during the back half of their performance while maintaining the band’s casual demeanor and accessible sound. For example, Struble brought out a 12 string acoustic guitar for a few songs, including “Woah Man,” which added some enjoyable variety to the performance before they performed their smash hit “Can I Call You Tonight.” The song was an exceptional highlight to a wholly enjoyable concert experience, and the crowd shouted every word as they danced in uncoordinated unison and embraced their youthful liberation.
The band concluded their show with Tears for Fears’ iconic “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” a song perfectly fitted for Dayglow’s persona, lyrics and occasionally disco-pop-inspired sound, followed by one final performance of their own “I Want to Run the World,” in a sped-up, alternative-punk live performance reminiscent of Green Day’s biggest hits.
Dayglow’s sound is like a coloring book, filled with surprisingly engaging moments and simple structures. They didn’t color outside the lines too much. Instead, they made sure each song was filled to the border with Crayola and pastel sounds inspired by teenage virtues. Their music is the sound of Gen Z coming of age and finding their way in the real world, attempting to hold on to their youth while simultaneously enjoying the freedom of young adulthood. Their performance at Summit Hall represented that energy in every way.