Sloan Struble finally made it to Toronto.
After last year’s stop on the Harmony House Tour was cancelled due to COVID restrictions, Dayglow sold out the Danforth Music Hall in a highly anticipated return.
Accompanied by “the most handsome band in the world”, Texas native Sloan Struble was welcomed by a crowd of folks who came to hear exactly what he does best: merge thoughtful and introspective lyrics with irresistible melodies and rhythms.
The foursome kicked off their set with “Radio”, an early track on Dayglow’s latest album that lends its name to this tour: People In Motion. A fitting name, as Sloan is certainly a man in motion up on that stage. Whether roaming around with just a mic in hand during songs like “Something” and “Deep End”, or confined to center stage holding an acoustic throughout “Like She Does” and “Fuzzybrain”, he’s constantly grooving. The bounce in his knees while holding a guitar was infectious.
So I turn down the music, and stop the car
I started talking to myself, about who we are
I mean we're all just people, people in motion
And we're always moving, but seems we're never going…
Between songs, the smiling frontman addressed the audience to share how grateful he was to be playing music that started in his bedroom at just 17 years old. His self-produced debut Fuzzybrain, a 10-track album released in 2019, garnered massive popularity and millions of streams. A sentimental “Thank you for believing in me” sent the audience into a prolonged cheer, prompting a truly humbled reaction from the now 23-year-old, clearly soaking it all in.
“Toronto…I can’t wait to come back”.
The night featured a nice mix of favourites across Fuzzybrain, sophomore record Harmony House, and People In Motion. The latter paved way for a shift to more anthemic and stadium-worthy performances of slower songs like “Turn Around” and “Someone Else”. These newer works sounded like they were meant to be played live, as it was a much different experience from listening to the recordings released just last month. This sonic theme also appeared during a significant change in arrangement for the coming-of-age ballad “Junior Varsity”, a song about change itself. The band hardly gave a verbatim performance of any tune, always surprising the crowd with added intros, a shift in drum groove, or extended jams. Delightful covers were sprinkled throughout and tacked onto songs, with listeners treated to charismatic performances of “Robot Rock”, “Funkytown”, and the truly unexpected “You Can Call Me Al”.
The band flexed their musical chops and didn’t shy away from playing multiple instruments throughout the night, whether that looked like trading a guitar for a bass, running over to the keyboard to harmonize with a solo, or keeping steady eighth notes on a shaker. The singer’s falsetto sounded heartfelt and precise, which was especially impressive considering the workout that came with running around the stage.
Anyone who has been following Dayglow will not be surprised at the visual components of this tour. As a band that is constantly furthering its aesthetic, the projections and light cues felt incredibly deliberate, boasting gorgeous gradients and mesmerizing patterns. There was an undeniable element of nostalgia that paired perfectly with songs like “Medicine”, a self-proclaimed yacht rock tune reminiscent of bands like The Doobie Brothers. The production included a live camcorder filming from the mix booth, sending a slightly delayed video feed behind the group during certain songs, distorting and animating the band. A memorable effect occurred during this summer’s single “Deep End”, depicting Sloan through a blue rippling filter, satisfying his chorus call:
Come take me, into the deep end
Show me how to let it go, like flowing water…
“We’re just going to have fun tonight”. This was tossed out very casually early in the night, something that might otherwise feel scripted. But this was very much so the case; you could see a true songwriter at heart joined by three incredible musicians (Norrie, Colin, and Brady) putting on a show that so clearly resonated with the sold-out venue. Ever relatable and wholesome hits like “Can I Call You Tonight?” and “Close to You” rounded out the evening with fans shouting along. Of course, the group returned for an encore against a starry backdrop to indulge in the vocoder-laden “Second Nature”, Dayglow’s longest song to date, coming in at just shy of six minutes.
Speaking of the sold-out venue, Danforth Music Hall has a capacity of 1,500 people, which is no small number. It would be hard to believe there was a single person in that room able to keep a smile off their face the entire night. Dayglow’s joy is infectious.
We can’t wait for you to come back either.
Written by Kieran Lynch
Photos by Josiah Botting
Then It All Goes Away
Run the World!!!
Robot Rock (Daft Punk cover) [Remixed with “Run the World!!!”]
How Do You Know?
Funkytown (Lipps, Inc. cover) [Transition into “Medicine”]
Stops Making Sense
You Can Call Me Al (Paul Simon cover) [Remixed with “Stops Making Sense”]
Like She Does
Can I Call You Tonight?
Close to You
Ritt Momney Photos