Astral Soul, R&B & Sci-Fi Funk
Try It On:
STL's Middle Class Fashion
20 Years of Interpol
LA's, LA Witch
Folk, Not Folk
Motherfolk at Delmar Hall
Indie Rock Concierge:
Addie Sartino of
The Greeting Committee
Late Nights in the Middle of March: Dreamland with the Glass Animals
STORY: Madisyn SIebert PHOTOS: Sean Rider
All of us born before the year 2000 remember the bulky home computer that lived in its own room in the house and all the troubles that came with it: dialing up the internet, downloads taking actual hours and the joyous noises the computer emitted as it did its best to keep up with the demand of running just one program.
Glass Animals imitated these memories on March 23 at The Factory with a display set up on stage projecting the screen and bulky frame of this computer and a dialogue box “downloading” the performance. The loading bar fluctuated from the time span of two days to minutes, before it finally loaded and the cursor opened the “new software”—the cue for the band to emerge from the side stage.
The band opened up its set with “Dreamland,” the album’s title track and conveniently its first song. The album dropped in 2020 and is still in high demand, especially considering the sold-out crowd at The Factory. People waited in line for nearly an hour to just get inside the venue and out of the rain. The fans were dedicated and that was easy to see.
We were immediately whisked away into the British band’s imaginary land, where the ‘90s lived on forever with the computer generating family pictures and videos displayed during “Youth,” and during the song “Tokyo Drifting” they generated an old-school car racing game. The set itself was decorated with a couple neon signs, a kiddie pool, a fake palm tree and a basketball hoop—things reminiscent of simpler days. Besides the props, the stage was outlined with two sets of lights that truly helped make the show a more immersive experience, drawing the audience in through the patterns
The band had impeccable energy, going from one song to the next, feeding off of the crowd. Not many words were spoken by lead vocalist Dave Bayley when he wasn’t singing, but when he did speak, it was mostly praises of thanks and excitement. You could just see how much fun Bayley was having on stage throughout the show, dancing and engaging with the crowd by having them sing, clap and dance with him.
The band was also in on the fun, having fake ends to the songs just to get the crowd amped back up again when they would begin playing, and adding in new riffs and beats to existing songs that you will only be fortunate to hear live. You could just see how they were soaking up the energy of the crowd and then pouring it right back out to the mass of people in front of them.
Although we are closing in on the two-year anniversary of Dreamland’s release, it is still very easy to see the impact Glass Animals has made. “Heat Waves,” the album’s breakout single, made history when it reached the monumental achievement of being a chart topper for nearly 60 weeks in a row—and more than a year after its release! If you ask me, the entire album has recontextualized the band’s discography that came before it. Listening to Glass Animals' older songs live, it was almost difficult not to think about them within Dreamland. Songs like “Take A Slice,” “Season 2 Episode 3” and their ever-popular “Gooey” all now exist in the nostalgia-filled world the band has created.
Very rarely do we get the opportunity to find our nostalgia before it hits the past, but Glass Animals gave us something special here. Be sure to catch these guys live, or even just throw Dreamland on during a summer afternoon, because before you know it you’ll be thinking back to this time too.
Unabashed Bilingual Indie Rockers:
The Marías at Old Rock House
STORY & PHOTOS: Cory Weaver
Fronted by a mesmerizing, velvety smooth, bi-lingual singer, María Zardoya entrances crowds. Beguiling on-lookers with her effortless, sultry vocals while matched by stifling grooves–you’re immediately hooked… never mind that she was cascaded in a singular light with any and all lighting effects directed through her, penetrating the crowd—in a blood red corset.
Youthful Exuberance, Goofy Persona on Display with Dayglow at Delmar Hall
STORY: Madisyn SIebert PHOTOS: Cory Weaver
I’ve never seen an artist light up a room like Dayglow, pun intended. The 22-year-old, Sloan Struble, radiates on stage with his dorky “dad” dance moves, truly embracing the motto dance like no one is watching. If you were lucky enough to snag a ticket to his show at Delmar Hall on October 29, you would know exactly what I am talking about.
With lights perfectly beaming and setting the standard for the evening, it helped build the anticipation for Struble to dance his way on stage. Behind his band, all just as quirky as him, were huge letters spelling out DAYGLOW that lit up to the beats of the indie 80s-rock inspired music.
“This show is pretty nuts,” Struble said only after performing two songs, “One of the first shows I ever played was at this venue with my friend COIN. Full circle moment to be headlining sold out. We’re here to dance, so let’s dance.” He finished before transitioning into the song “Nicknames,” where he did break out the cowbell.
One thing that was immediately noted throughout his show, besides his amazingly wacky dance moves, was how amazing the lighting was for his show. We recently got to catch part of Dayglow’s set at ACL, and it was just as fun as Delmar Hall’s show, but one thing that made them incomparable was all the lighting effects he was able to do at his indoor set. Whoever his lighting guy is truly deserves a raise—all the effects were perfectly timed to his music and the colors of the lights really immersed you into his set.
Struble is also a man of many talents: he played piano, guitar (electric and acoustic) and sang throughout his show. He was constantly switching between the variety of instruments, and made them all look so easy, even just at the age of 22. He made it look like he was born on stage with how comfortable he was up there.
One of my favorite points of the show was when Struble took time to address the crowd about change, saying, “Not too long ago I was in my dorm room and I released an album “Fuzzybrain.” I never thought it would bring me to St. Louis, but here I am, I have had so much change in the past years and music shows that change. When I was writing “Fuzzybrain” it time-stamped that change.” During a time in the world where there is nothing but change, it was great to hear in Struble’s own words how he has grown during this time to be where he is today.
Later during the show, we learned that Struble’s keyboardist is originally from Kirkwood and clued him in on a couple St. Louis favorites, engaging with the crowd by saying they were “Munching on some t-ravs” and smiling back at the audience with pure happiness on his face.
Struble’s setlist was almost his entire discography, which was absolutely amazing to see him give everyone all the songs they could possibly be craving to hear from him. He strategically set up his setlist to focus in on softer moments together, like in “December” and “Dear Friend” and by quickly bringing back the energy for the crowd with bangers like “False Direction” and “Listerine.”
After the encore, the band ended with a cover of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and then “Run the World” to close out his show, keeping everyone amped till the chilly October air hit the crowd.
Struble is still so young and still has so much time to continue the growth that he acknowledged during his set. It keeps me excited for what will come in the future from him if he is already so good at the age of 22. Next time he’s in town he will only be bigger and better, so make sure to catch him whenever that is.