Concert Review: Daughters w/ Jaye Jayle at Zanzabar, 2/22/19

I’m late to the party with the band Daughters, but ever since their 2018 release of the tremendous You Don’t Always Get What You Want, I’ve been playing catch up with their discography and better understanding why they’re making such waves. After absorbing their latest album over a few months and hearing about their immense live performances, I’ve been dying to catch them in concert.

Last Sunday, I was able to see them perform in my home state of Kentucky (thanks to Clark and Psychic City), with Louisville natives Jaye Jayle, at the Zanzabar (for the record, there was another opener- Hide- but I wasn’t able to make it on time to see them, unfortunately). The show was completely sold out, and was predictably packed from front to back. Openers Jaye Jayle played moody, atmospheric, and haunting Americana- the perfect soundtrack for exploring an abandoned mine shaft, or getting even with your worst enemy in an eastern Kentucky holler. There were several really powerful moments throughout, and the hypnotic atmosphere was masterfully crafted by singer/songwriter Evan Patterson.

Daughters have been making waves with their latest album, You Won’t Get What You Want, and based on the dark, nihilistic energy of the album, I was expecting a stage show to match. Daughters delivered one of the most energetic, jarring, and amazing stage shows I’ve seen in years. Vocalist Alexis Marshall, guitarist Nicholas Sadler, and drummer Jon Syverson performed with stunning energy and accuracy. Filling in for bassist Samuel Walker is Chris Sorach, from Canadian punk band METZ. The touring lineup also features Gary Potter on second guitar and Lisa Mungo (from He Whose Ox is Gored) on synth/programming/auxiliary percussion to create a more faithful reproduction of their album sound.

Daughters’ latest album is pretty diverse and undefinable, but one of the more consistently integral parts of their sound is the atmosphere that they’ve created through a combination of synths, dissonant guitar work, and highly aggressive drumming. I wasn’t sure how well this would translate live, but they reproduced it with surprising accuracy- a harsh, cacophonous storm of noise that probably would have made my ears bleed without earplugs. Speaking of drums- Jon Syverson is an absolute monster. There were several jaw dropping moments throughout the concert, but my favorites musically involved the guitars and synths making a harsh, impenetrable wall of sound and Syverson blasting away like a madman, channeling the primal energy of the music with his drumming.

As soon as lead singer Alexis Marshall entered the stage, I noticed that he donned a red mark on his forehead, an injury that presumably had occurred on a previous night (maybe from hitting his forehead with his microphone). His stage presence was intoxicating to watch, as he would alternate between a sedated stagger and bursts of frenetic energy. He’d wrap the mic cord around his neck, drool on the stage, throw himself into the crowd, slam his mic on the ground, and I’m pretty sure he deep throated his microphone at least once. His performance was visceral and ugly, and like a consummate frontman he harnessed and embodied the raw power of the music in his movements and vocals. I was surrounded by people who were very familiar with Daughters’ music, and they were almost all matching Alexis’s energy, moving in what seemed like a Pentecostal fervor, flailing their arms and banging their heads and mouthing along to every lyric. I am not into moshing, but I did get bobbled around a bit, as there were so many people that any movement was felt in waves by others in the crowd.

As I´m mostly familiar with the new album, I couldn’t recognize some of the older songs, but I was pleased to hear some of my favorites from You Won’t Get What You Want. “Satan In the Wait” and “The Lords Song”. The concert compelled me to look through their entire discography, and it’s helped me get a better sense as to why this album is so unique and welcome and revelatory to so many people, and why people care about this band so much. Live and in the studio, they’re able to use elements of disparate genres, ranging from grindcore to industrial, to create a work of art that is beautiful in its ugliness. I

Daughters is still touring- make sure to catch them at their next show. Thanks again to Clark at Psychic City Productions for providing me with the opportunity to cover this show.

Daughters Tour Dates:
11/17 – Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen
11/18 – Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen
02/16 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
02/17 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
02/19 – Asheville, NC @ Mothlight
02/20 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade (Hell)
02/21 – Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
02/22 – Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
02/23 – St. Louis, MO @ FUBAR
02/24 – Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th St
02/26 – Dallas, TX @ Curtain Club
02/27 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda
03/01 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge
03/02 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent
03/05 – Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre
03/07 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
03/08 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
03/09 – Detroit, MI @ Loving Touch
03/10 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
03/11 – Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rosa
03/12 – Boston, MA @ Sinclair
03/13 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
04/05 – St. Petersburg, RU @ Mod Club
04/06 – Moscow, RU @ Club
04/08 – Munich, DE @ Backstage Concerts
04/09 – Stuttgart, DE @ Juha West
04/10 – Paris, FR @ Point Ephemere
04/11 – Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, BE @ Le Botanique
04/12 – Berlin, DE @ Cassiopeia Club
04/13 – Hamburg, DE @ Hafenklang
04/14 – Tilburg, NL @ Roadburn
04/15 – Ramsgate, UK @ Ramsgate Music Hall
04/16 – Bristol, UK @ The Exchange
04/17 – Manchester, UK @ The Deaf Institute
04/18 – Glasgow, UK @ The Hug and Pint
04/19 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell
04/20 – London, UK @ The Dome

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