Warm, radiant and lively: Dayglow lights up The Regency Ballroom

Photo of Dayglow concert
Antonio Martin/Staff

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Dayglow makes you feel young.

Everything about its music, aesthetic and live performance exudes youthful fun that rejuvenates the soul and makes you want to sing and dance into the night with friends. Dayglow makes listeners feel bright and alive and limitless — its music has a contagious sprightliness one can’t help but be inspired by.

When Dayglow’s Sloan Struble and touring band — which includes Colin Crawford (guitar), Peyton Harrington (bass), Norrie Swofford (keyboard) and Brady Knippa (drums) — hit the stage of The Regency Ballroom on Sept. 22, they kicked off an energetic evening of music led equally by them and the venue of nearly 1,400 fans. Dayglow is not the world’s most popular music artist, and The Regency Ballroom is not San Francisco’s largest concert venue, but in the smaller crowds Struble attracts a whole lot of loyalty and passion.

The Regency Ballroom created a tightly packed concert environment which matched the intimacy of Dayglow’s fanbase. The greatest perk of the smaller venue was the proximity it allowed between the performer and the audience, which created a closeness felt by everyone in the room. Every individual face in the pit could be made out, and everyone watching the show had a clear view of the band. If members of the audience were closer to the stage and looked out for it, they could see Struble’s wide smile as he sang, feeding off the crowd’s energy, obviously unable to contain his elation. Everything about the concert’s ambience felt incredibly authentic.

Struble is a fantastic live performer. Not only does he have a great voice and is evidently musically talented — as he played both guitar and piano throughout the evening — but he also drips with personality. Struble was beaming and laughing the whole time and did little dances which were lovably dorky in the best way. He interacted with his bandmates, moved all across the stage and just looked like he was having the time of his life. At one point in the evening, Struble picked up a cowbell and began enthusiastically playing it to the beat, causing the audience to vehemently cheer. Extremely likable and excellent at working a crowd, Struble is filled with quirky character which complements his music perfectly.

Dayglow’s music is marvelously catchy and lighthearted. Its songs are full of bright keys, twangy guitar and dreamy harmonies which resonate through the ballroom like liquid sunshine. Struble’s commendable artistry is everything indie pop should be: Every song is a sunny, dance-provoking earworm that feels like a warm hug. Dayglow’s music certainly worked its magic on its San Francisco fans, who danced and jumped in unison all through the night, never slowing and only gaining more momentum. “You guys are fun, very fun,” Struble said before starting “Hot Rod,” a fan favorite. “Let’s dance, San Francisco!”

While Dayglow provided amazing music throughout the show, the reaction from the crowd enhanced the band’s successes and really made the night spectacular. At any point throughout the entire set, one could hear the crowd singing every word with Struble. While many loyal fans knew every line to each song, it seemed as though the entire ballroom was screaming the lyrics to more popular numbers such as “Can I Call You Tonight?” It is truly rare to see a crowd as enthusiastic as that of this show and it is an unbelievably enjoyable experience to absorb such positive passion.

As the night progressed and the audience grew louder and louder, Struble also acknowledged their unwavering commitment to having a good time. Clearly appreciative, he shook his head and said, “You guys are crazy. You guys are nuts.” Later, while playing a soft melody on the piano, Struble encouraged everyone to turn to the stranger next to them and introduce themselves. All throughout The Regency Ballroom, the electrified crowd exchanged names and smiles eagerly.

Dayglow wove a blanket out of radiant music, youthful liveliness, good memories and new friendships, fittingly warming up a cold San Francisco night.

Contact Joy Diamond at [email protected].