Sloan Struble, who makes music as Dayglow, was all smiles last night performing at First Avenue. He had every reason to be, selling out the venue for the first time to a crowd who was just as excited to see him as he was to perform.
“I was told to be very cautious not to say it as ‘Minnie-an-apolis’,” he said. “It’s Minneapolis!” to great applause. Getting our name right, or even just saying out outloud, already adds a lot of brownie points to a performer. Adding to it, was an upbeat, sonically pleasing soundtrack that would cure any midweek tiredness. A near 20 song setlist lasted just over an hour, and was almost half and half of each of Dayglow’s albums. He introduced most songs by name from 2019’s debut Fuzzybrain and 2021’s latest Harmony House.
The encore even featured a fantastic cover of Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears for Fears, which was a welcome singalong for the crowd, and seemed to transition easily to Run The World!!! From Dayglow’s Fuzzybrain. Highlights from the night included some of the quieter moments, where Sloan sat behind the keys of his Fender Rhoades piano, performing songs like Dear Friend, and Moving Out. Woah Man showcased the great guitar solo skills of Colin Crawford, while Medicine and Hot Rod also showcased Sloan, whose no slouch on guitar himself, Keep up with Colin on solos, and even Eagles-style guitar harmonies.
Some of his songs, with upbeat, bright guitars and familiar DIY indie rock melodies, sound similar to a Mac Demarco lo-fi style, If Mac Demarco was a straight-A-student who never picked up chain smoking. That being said, a Dayglow/DeMarco double headliner would probably sell out whole stadiums. But Unlike Mac DeMarco, Sloan Struble seemed to be much more polite, and parent-friendly. Wearing a tucked in shirt, bright white shoes, and dancing in place to his songs ala David Byrne. “Are you ready to rock out with me!” he would ask.
At one point, before performing Listerine had to step back from the mic twice, laughing almost in disbelief in the cheering and clapping from the audience. Chanting “Dayglow!” in unison, it’s hard not to see this as some sort of dream come true. Smiling, hands on his knees, he looked up and shook his head. “I already can’t wait to come back,” he said.