Daisy the Great recently performed an intimate hometown show that captures the terror and bliss of twentysomething existentialism.
Daisy the Great performed at Gasa Gasa on August 28 to a crowd of familiar faces for one of two frontwomen, Mina Walker. Daisy the Great understands both millennial existentialism and skillful songwriting, but because this was a hometown show, the crowd was transfixed in an especially personal way. Everyone watched with pride and attention that only hometown glory can afford. An especially chatty crowd full of folks catching up and reminiscing engaged with the band as soon as the music started, and you could feel that intimacy throughout the show.
The band started with "IDKW," a song that begins softly, then builds into a more fast paced rhythm after a standard “1, 2, 3, 4” that’s great for introductions and threw the crowd in immediately. They moved from this, to their newest single “I’m Fine,” then to their most popular song “The Record Player Song,” which is the song that got them the most visibility. The song reflects youthful yearning and misguided nostalgia, but it’s self aware in that longing, with a chorus that begins “I’ve got a record player that was made in 2014 / Dyed my hair blue, it came out a sea-sick sort of green.” It's the song that most clearly reflects their existential musings for those coming into adulthood and yearning for the childhood they're leaving behind.
Towards the middle of their set, they move into a cover of “Lovefool” by The Cardigans. Covers signal a particular homage, and in this case, it captures the carefree longing that the rest of the show was aiming for. Everyone was jumping and dancing with familiarity, and for a band that’s still getting off the ground, that familiarity is welcomed.
They performed a new song, “Glitter,” which feels like their thesis. This song has some grit to it, but it’s about topical millennial worries, all the while spreading glitter across your face to make it less serious and scary. Their lyrics explore feelings of twentysomethings who are unmoored and searching for solid footing, while their vocals work to match this theme. Daisy the Great is relevant and generational, but it doesn’t feel like just another band making music in their basement with a shaking fist. Kelley Nicole Dugan and Mina Walker understand song-building, so their music is well constructed.
They rely heavily on overlapping vocals which enhances the instrumentals. This overlap gives it its indie signature, but the execution is rehearsed and polished. They’re usually a lot going on in their songs, and it feels like calculated chaos. They sing about unrequited crushes and uncertainty for the future, with lyrics such as "I woke up bored," that are typical of any recent graduate searching for a purpose. The band is fronted by Dugan and Walker, who have a great stage presence that fits perfectly within their genre. They are quirky and indie without coming across as trying to be so. They play off of each other naturally, and their comfort with each other allows the audience to feel comfortable with them.
We see this intimacy in a different light when the two perform a song by themselves, quietly, dedicated to their respective lost parents. It isn’t light-hearted, but it brings the audience in a little bit closer.
During their final song, “Seasoned,” they invite their band back on stage, and invite the audience to sing along during the chorus. This song gets back into their carefree spirit, and everyone is dancing more intimately. They introduce the chorus, “You are making it up as you go along,” and the audience repeats it back over and over. Here they capture what every 20-something in the audience is feeling, while we all revel in that directionless feeling together.