Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Dayglow delivers garage band-like grooves, amiable ad-libs at A&O’s Blowout

Micah Sandy/The Daily Northwestern
Sloan Struble of Dayglow performed with his band as the headliner for A&O Productions’ Blowout on Friday.

If you’ve ever sat in a basement and watched some talented friends goof around with instruments, you’ve pretty much already seen a Dayglow concert. 

Gracing the stage as the headliner for A&O Productions’ Blowout Friday, the indie-pop project transformed Welsh-Ryan Arena into your typical 2000s-movie garage band experience with goofy witticisms and a perfectly unserious stage presence. 

Northwestern student DJ Kavi Subramanyan, known by stage name DJ Kavi, kicked off the night around 7 p.m. with an exclusive set of tracks — notably remixing a clip of “The Hanging Tree” from the first movie installment of “The Hunger Games” into a sick house beat. 

About 30 minutes after DJ Kavi made his exit from the stage to appreciative applause from the scattered audience who arrived early enough to catch his set, R&B artist Justine Skye took the stage. 

The Brooklyn native, who rose to fame on Tumblr after her digital “diary” filled with her teenage banter gained traction, appeared under the bright stage lights, sporting perfectly coiffed hair and gleaming in a blue and lace dress. 

Skye’s R&B songs were a more stripped-down, unbuttoned experience compared to DJ Kavi’s set, but by no means any less captivating. The 28-year-old strutted around the stage, singing about the usual — boys with bad habits and being “in her bag.” 

While Skye’s set was slow and sultry, audience members seemed to recognize the singer’s TikTok-famous song “Collide,” which the singer originally recorded with rapper Tyga.

Perhaps a testament to the audience’s engagement, Skye told the NU crowd as she exited the stage that they were more fun than she thought they were going to be. Backhanded? Yes. Appreciated? Also yes. 

When Dayglow finally took the stage, it was like being transported to a local garage band performance, a la “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.” Texas native Sloan Struble, the artist at the helm of the indie-pop project, and his group were dressed to the epitome of indie style. Hipster mustaches, tight-fitting shirts and baggy jeans seemed to be a second skin for the performers. 

The band kicked off their set with a performance of the track “Then It All Goes Away” off of the 2022 album “People in Motion,” met by little lyrical recognition from the crowd. It wasn’t until the third song of the night, the band’s hit “Hot Rod,” that the performers got an enthusiastic response from the crowd. 

The band also played a sonically unrecognizable (until Struble started singing the lyrics) cover of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” that blended seamlessly into their own song “Run the World!!!”.

While Dayglow live sounds almost exactly like the recordings of their songs online, what sets their performance apart from your daily walk-to-class listening sesh isn’t any measure of their musical performance. Rather, it’s their mischievous ad-libs in between songs that make it seem like you’re truly just watching your friends play music. 

Struble does an excellent job of engaging with his audience — he’s the perfect level of quirky to play to an NU crowd. He and his band talked at length about Chicago, played a “Dayglow-ified” Wii Theme Song and joked about dropping of the University of Texas after his freshman year.)

At the end of the show, after being sure to play the band’s biggest hit, “Can I Call You Tonight?” Struble shouted his appreciation for NU, saying, “Don’t go any more south or any more east — Northwestern all the way!” — an on-theme end to A&O’s Blowout. 


Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @TabithaParent12

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