Saturday, April 2, 2016

Daughter at Terminal West, Atlanta - April 1, 2016

Last evening, the London band Daughter played to a sold-out crowd at Atlanta's Terminal West.  I arrived before the show started, but a good solid 45 minutes after the doors had opened, and the large crowd already there kept me from getting close to the stage (hence the graininess of some of these photos).  Apparently, Daughter has become much more popular than when we last saw them at Variety Playhouse in September 2013, and the audience was also noticeably younger than at the Playhouse show.  Good for Daughter - it's nice to see nice people succeed.

New York/London band Wilsen opened.  To say that Wilsen sound like Daughter would be an understatement.  I could see why someone decided it would be a good idea for the two bands to tour together (fans of Daughter would naturally like Wilsen), but the net effect was a lack of variety to the show.  I mean, it was all good, but it was all one flavor.

The audience didn't seem to mind, and they clearly adored Daughter's Elena Tonra, even managing to make her laugh out loud during a couple of songs with their earnest declarations of adoration, love, and devotion.  In return, the band went long and played a 75-minute set that seemed to include every song from both of their albums and their EPs - at least, there's nothing I can't say they didn't play.

As a headlining band, they had the traditional headliner's stage set, including a backdrop featuring the artwork from their new Not To Disappear album and a set of bright strobe lights set all over the stage, which I found more distracting than exciting and somewhat inappropriate to Daughter's primarily down-tempo, sad songs.  But this is a minor complaint about an all-around great show.

Daughter records as a trio, but for their live set they had a fourth member on stage, who played keyboards and contributed some harmony to Elena Tonra's vocals.  Elena was on the opposite side of the stage from the one I was standing closest to, so I had to take my pictures from a distance, over the heads of much of the audience, and into the bright stage lights, but I did manage to get at least one good picture of  Daughter's Swiss-born guitarist Igor Haefeli, who was standing closer to my spot. 

I'm happy for Daughter's apparent success, and it's nice to know that there's still a sizable audience for moody and down-tempo, well-crafted songs that aren't dance music or punk-pop.    Bonus points for getting home before 11:30 pm (despite Terminal West's ludicrously slow parking lot exits). 

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