Sloan Struble, better known as Dayglow, has been performing since 2018, long before he was even allowed to patronize the venues where he played. The 22-year-old, Texas-based artist has since released two hit albums, his growth potently on display in his most recent “Harmony House.” A polished compilation, his sophomore album is bursting with synth-tinged nostalgia. Graduating from bedroom pop to full blown indie phenom, Dayglow has captured the experience of processing change and getting older in his music.
Traveling the US on a nearly sold out tour, Struble’s glee was almost tangible, leaping and bouncing across the 9:30 Club stage to the notable drum pattern of “Something.” Dislodging the microphone from its stand, Struble danced around the stage, flinging his limbs all about exuberantly, as though trying to embrace the grasping crowd. Hardly stopping to take a breath for the entirety of the night, Dayglow is full of unending energy. Even when they took a turn and slowed down for songs like “December” and “Dear Friend,” Struble’s spirit shone through.
Opening act Hovvdy cheered from the balcony, waving homemade signs from fans of their earlier set. Leading the crowd in synchronized claps, their love and admiration for Dayglow was evident.
“This is our last show with Dayglow,” Will Taylor, one half of the pop duo, announces. “We love them. Great folks, and [an] even better band.”
Dayglow left little room for the unexpected, save for when they pulled out a 12 string guitar for a few songs, including “Woah Man,” which added some enjoyable variety. They play a simple and effective show, with crisp and colorful sounds that were never muddled by the audience singing along. Their friendly and uncomplicated lyrics lend for a wildly fun show that guarantees a good time for everyone — even if you didn’t know a single song.
“This is silly,” Struble beams into the bobbing sea of faces, astonishment and gratitude shining on his face, as though he still couldn’t comprehend how he’d ended up on the stage of a sold out 9:30 Club.
“D.C., I can’t wait to be back…Let’s dance,” Struble shouted, before closing out the set with “Close to You,” an instant classic.
Dayglow embraced their synth-tinged false nostalgia in the encore, playing a variation on Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” — a song that perfectly fit their persona — before ending the night by merging into their own “Run the World!!!”, a speedy, punk-esque ear worm to leave the crowd on a high note, pumped full of adrenaline.
Having accomplished so much in so little time, Dayglow is an icon to aspiring young artists. Mostly self-taught and opting for the untraditional path, Struble is proof that with hard work, talent, self-awareness, and a bit (okay, a lot) of luck, your dreams are never truly out of reach.
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