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Published June 21, 2024

Dayglow brings ‘80s-esque indie-pop to Minneapolis

The vibes were immaculate at Dayglow’s Oct. 27 concert at First Ave.
Image by Ethan Fine
Dayglow lead singer Sloan Struble performs in the band’s show at First Avenue on Wednesday, Oct. 27. Dayglow sold out their entire Harmony House tour.

Last month, I came across a TikTok by user Ana Garrett with the caption, “If you want to feel all the immaculate vibes, go to a Dayglow concert.” After attending the Dayglow concert at First Ave. on Oct. 27, presented by Radio K, the vibes were as close to immaculate as an indie-pop show can get.

Opening act courtship. kept things short and sweet with a mellow 30-minute set that featured their more popular hits like “Sunroof” and “Tell Me Tell Me” along with a rendition of “Say So” by Doja Cat. Following courtship., the crowd maintained their amped-up energy through enthusiastic cheers in response to First Avenue’s rotation of upcoming shows displayed in front of the stage.

Along with an infectious energy, the crowd brought color. Their outfits were a collage of pastel florals, neon denim and funky button ups layered atop turtlenecks. Red-and-white striped overalls and a rainbow-butterfly-embroidered denim jacket were just a few of the more memorable pieces I saw. Collectively, their outfits were somewhat of a Gen-Z fashion aficionado’s dream.

Rainbow lights flashed on stage; a couple posed for photos in the middle of the act with their disposable camera; friends sang every lyric to one another while jumping alongside the crowd. Being immersed in the crowd of the Dayglow concert sort of made me feel like I was the main character of a coming-of-age movie.

Dayglow, a.k.a. 22-year-old Sloan Struble, kicked the night off with “Something” from his sophomore album, “Harmony House.” While its tracks carry with them the same nostalgic, retro vibe of his debut album “Fuzzybrain,” Harmony House is “about the reality of growing up,” according to Struble’s Twitter account. It’s meant to be a modern take on an ‘80s pop album.

Struble rose to fame following the 2018 release of “Fuzzybrain,” which he produced and released from his childhood bedroom before taking off for college. The album gained fast traction on the Internet, amassing millions of streams on various platforms. Between tracks like “Can I Call You Tonight?” and “Hot Rod,” there’s no argument when it comes to the catchiness of Struble’s sound. However, his music offers a glimpse into his own coming-of-age experience with optimistic, upbeat tracks alluding to life in his hometown of Aledo, Texas.

Struble is no ballerina — but he exudes the kind of joyful exuberance that negates the need for carefully coordinated dance moves on stage. It made sense for him to spend the night running around the stage, leaning one way or another while kicking his feet back behind him while singing “Fair Game” and “Hot Rod.”

“He was super soft-spoken and just goofy,” attendee Kate Nelson said. “But he just had such control over his audience.”

It was evident that the crowd, mostly made up of teenagers and twenty-somethings, knew the artist well. These were dedicated fans in attendance, demonstrated by the hundreds of voices constantly shouting aloud the lyrics. Among them was high school senior Jared Blakely, who made the trip for the Dayglow show all the way from his hometown of Sault Ste Marie, Michigan.

One of the night’s most notable moments was during a break between songs in which the entire audience cheered for Struble for a solid three minutes before he eventually expressed his gratitude. There are performers who seem to expect the attention and adoration of their audiences and accept it for what it is; there are others who seem oblivious of their reach. Struble falls in the latter category, a musician just as humble as he is optimistic.

“Would you like to freaking rock? Then we shall rock Minneapolis!” Struble yelled onstage before launching into the first part of a two-song encore: a cover of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” The band followed up with the fast-paced, upbeat “Run the World!!!” to end the night.
There’s no shortage of indie-pop artists, so there’s something to be said about an artist that can captivate a crowd the way that Dayglow can.

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