Auckland based, alternative/indie band Daffodils, sold out their headlining gig last night at The Tuning Fork to an "all ages" crowd. An evening full of wicked talent, dedicated fans and some humour here and there were only a few of the many elements that contributed to the shows success.
The setlist had a bit of something for everyone, catering to audience members roughly from the ages of 14 to 70. I've had the pleasure of seeing Daffodils perform live many times over the last year, but I've never seen them perform the way they did last night (27th September) at The Tuning Fork.
Paige, a witty, young singer-songwriter opened the evening at 7:30 sharp. Playing a solo set with just vocals and her guitar, she managed to capture some of the crowd, which in itself was impressive seeing as the audience were there to see an indie/alt band. There was no doubt that she was talented; a gorgeously soft voice, a clever lyricist and definitely an amazing stage presence. But not the right genre of music for the crowd and/or lineup.
Supporting Daffodils was indie/pop artist Bene who was accompanied by a full band with crowns on their heads, featuring Daffodils' very own drummer, Isaac Keating on keys. Bene walked out in a striking yellow shirt and pants suit and captured attention within the first verse of her opening song as a result of her charisma and stunning, unique voice.
With one jazz-influenced exception, most of her songs were contemporary pop based with plenty of love stories. One song in particular, unfortunately, struggled to keep the attention of crowds further back. Happy was a rather slow song in comparison. I personally enjoyed the contrast and song but perhaps the performance needed more build or intriguing melodic elements to compensate for the drop in tempo. Following this song was her new single Soaked, which drew all the attention back to Bene. Getting her groove back she performed this song spectacularly, and finished the set with an equally boppin' song, Tough Guy.
9:15 on the dot, the Daffodils walk out on stage, their frontman wearing a particularly dazzling shirt, to an audience of screaming fans. Theo Spike Salmon (lead vocals, guitar), Jade Bryham (keys, synth, backing vocals), Isaac Keating (drums) and Louis Graham (bass, backing vocals).
Their first song, First Time Party Nightmare, saw a few technical issues, a bit of feedback and the vocals were overpowering the rest of the band, making for a slightly rocky start. By the end of Jade's sick synth solo, the sound levels had been sorted. Theo then took a moment to thank their support acts and the audience for coming out which he continued todo throughout the setlist. "This is so cool." "Didn't think we'd sell out The Tuning Fork" "Shout out to all the Dad's that are here" "Thank you to everyone who's listened to our music and come to our gigs over the past year" "This means a f***load to us" "This is like the best day of my life". Clearly a humble and extremely appreciative group of young musicians.
Face was accompanied by a wicked light display and a bucket load of talent from all members of the band, each musician playing with passion, dance and clearly enjoying themselves. This flowed us nicely into the next song, Staring At The Sun, which was a crowd favourite. The mosh were singing the lyrics word for word from start to finish and huge smiles lit up each face on stage, raising the bar higher with this crazy energy I'd never seen them perform with before.
In between Watching and new song Dark, we witnessed a bit of classic, awkward Dad jokes that were, luckily, quickly wrapped up, it certainly gave the band more character. Dark started rather slow, with strong drone effects and long vocal melodies which lost a small chunk of the crowd momentarily but definitely worth it. The slow-tempo, relaxed/chill song immediately transformed into a huge, multi layered performance that definitely would not have had the same effect without the drone-opener.
The Daffodils show at The Tuning Fork intentionally coincided with the release of their new song A Leo Underwater which was released on digital platforms the morning of the 27th. After only being available 12 hours, some of the crowd already knew the words and were singing along. Daffodils have clearly developed a dedicated fanbase thats with them all the way. We were also given a moment in this song where front man, Theo, threw himself into the song with impressive, high interval hits that I don't think many were expecting.
"This is my sisters favourite song," introduced We Only Laugh When It Hurts, a ballad with clever lyrics that built and crashed nicely, particularly when the crescendo coincided with a rapid flashing coloured light display. Was a huge moment that had one of the loudest applause of the evening. Moving us into another new song Why Don't You Hold Me, another strong song lyrically, "she said, 'why don't you hold me?' I said 'I need you to notice'." Daffodil's tend to subtly place anecdotes or pieces of conversation in their songs that make them all the more memorable and relatable.
A group of real humble kids with big passions...
Boys Are Back followed Why Don't You Hold Me that, in memory, was out-shined by their performance of Two Angels that came directly after. The crowd went absolutely nuts screaming the lyrics at the top of their lungs. The perfect song to end on....
"One more song!..... One more song!...." And Daffodils return to the stage with their rendition of Dancing With Myself by Billy Idol, a very big song and was covered brilliantly. Adding their own spin on a classic while also paying homage to the 'idol' himself. They then decided to play one more song, a song they'd already played previously that same evening, A Leo Underwater. Performing the same song in one evening is often either a hit or miss. Tonight, it was an indication that they potentially need more material, however that being said, not many seemed too bothered. Some were leaving before the song finished but most stayed until the end of A Leo Underwater, enjoying hearing their fresh new single live for a second time with more energy than the first.
It's safe to say that this was Daffodil's best performance yet. Sold out without door sales, three new songs, a tonne of energy, a few tech issues and a heap of appreciation. What was also awesome to see, is the support they had for their support acts. Not only did they have two supports, they also came out to the mosh to enjoy their performances before going on stage themselves. A group of real humble kids with big passions and definitely on their way up in the music business. Keep a watch of this fast moving space!
See more images and highlights of the show in our photo gallery further below!