REVIEW: Dayglow live at The Espy
Dayglow’s in the night light of Melbourne.
Authentic indie graced the long and narrow stage of the Espy in St.Kilda to a boisterous
local crowd loving Texan alternative sensation Dayglow in his first ever Melbourne
An appetite for international indie talent was strong after a largely rained out Splendour in
the Grass in Byron Bay. One artist that managed to get on a stage (luckily, undercover)
towards the end of the festival was 22-year-old Sloan Struble, or, more commonly known by his recording
name, Dayglow. Struble, already praising his Australian fans on his socials then ventured to
Melbourne for the first time and boy wasn’t he greeted by yet another energetic and
adoring audience at the Esplanade Hotel in St. Kilda!
Sydney based analog synth and pop-rock musician Kesmar, a.k.a Nathan Hawes, opened the
fanfare with pulsating and catchy synth beats which had the crowd on his side; chanting,
dancing and cheering. It’s fair to say the well-groomed Kesmar can expect an influx of
streams on Spotify and followers on Instagram after his breakout performance. It must be
noted, the choice of having an Aussie opening band that stays true to the concert’s genre
was an inspired choice and I’m sure it’s one that will gain more industry wide appraisal.
With a speedy set change and a restless crowd cheering watching the ‘I Need a Hero’
sequence from ‘Shrek 2’ played off someone’s phone screen in the front row, it was time for
Dayglow to shine in the night light of Melbourne. A fantastic part of Dayglow’s set and
something that Struble has quoted in previous interviews was his music is deliberately
composed to be played by a band comprising of five members live. This allowed for creative
variations of his songs and for the exceptional acoustics at the Espy to take full effect
creating a vibrant, infectious, and stimulating concert atmosphere.
Dayglow, a born performer for the stage, illuminated with his Hawaiian t-shirt (bravely worn
in the middle of blistering Melbourne winter) and his ensemble rocking the luscious long
hair and thick moustaches, made me feel quite nostalgic, travelling in a time capsule back to
what the live music scene would’ve been like in the late 80s – Hee Hee.
The set-piece hit all the right notes and ticked all the right boxes with all the iconic Dayglow
songs. With popular hits from 2018 debut album Fuzzybrain, including ‘Hot Rod’, ‘Can I Call
You Tonight’ and ‘Fuzzybrain’. Dayglow performed new single ‘Then It All Goes Away’ which
is a part of his unreleased album People in Motion which is set to be released on October 7th, with the song characteristically positive and up-tempo featuring the highs, lows and uncertainty of dating – this is one album you should be bookmarking.
The lively audience were continually feeding the Texan great vibes with one mega-fan even
giving Struble a golden sealed letter in between songs which he was very grateful for. The crowed chanted throughout the night, from the familiar “Oi, Oi’s” to cowboy “yeehaw’s, and not to mention a
lost in translation moment with fans explaining what the Australian equivalent to a prom is.
Dayglow’s second half of his set list featured some high energy tracks and crowd favourites
including hits from 2021 sophomore album Harmony House, including ‘Medicine’, ‘Balcony’
and ‘Close to You’. Concluding the concert was a well-received cover of ‘Everyone Wants to
Rule the World’ by 80s pop band Tears for Fears which transitioned nicely into ‘Run the
World’ – naturally.
All in all, Dayglow will no doubt be welcomed back to Melbourne with open arms as he has
found a delectable cult crowd who will be stamping their feet, brushing their long hair,
handing out gifts and waving their Hawaiian t-shirts proudly when he decides to return. If
you want captivating, contagious and positive alternative music with an artist who knows
how to entertain a crowd, do yourself a favour and get on the Dayglow bandwagon.
Words: Michael Serpell
SYN Media acknowledges and pays respect to the people of the Boonwurrung language group on whose unceded land this live music performance took place. Euro Yuroke is the Boonwurrung name of the land commonly known as St. Kilda. SYN also acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanger peoples have practised song, dance and musicianship for thousands of generations, and are the creators of art and culture across our country.