Opening Night with Daisy the Great
// Photo by Meredith Blanchard
A sea of mullets, dyed hair, and excited smiles poured into Brighton Music Hall on Wednesday. The crowd enthusiastically waited for a notable first: Not only was this indie pop band Daisy the Great’s first headlining tour, but it was also opening night of the tour.
In an interview before the show, Walker and Dugan talked about transitioning from a support act to a headliner. “We’ve been on support tours for the past few years where we had a limited amount of time. This is really exciting to be, like, ‘What oldies are we going to play? What newbies can we put in?’ We can make it feel like a really holistic view of what our music is right now,” Dugan said.
Holistic indeed — fans were in for a full night with not one but two opening acts. First was artist ADDIE, whose energetic percussion, electric guitar, and belting vocals made dancing irresistible. The crowd, whether old ADDIE fans or just discovering her that night, roared with eagerness after each song. Her stage presence was that of a seasoned rock star, and it would not be surprising to see ADDIE soon embarking on her own headlining tour.
Following Addie was Olive Klug. Compared to Addie’s full band, it felt endearing and genuine when Klug appeared onstage alone with just an acoustic guitar. “Their music will be special as a way to introduce the show because it's so delicate and songwriter-focused and beautiful,” Dugan said of Klug, “and I think that it is such a nice way to open a show to have some really specific and lovely [music] that you can really pay attention to before we go start rockin’.”
The music was lovely, indeed, and created a friendly and welcoming atmosphere when Klug brought ADDIE’s band back onstage for a song all together. The two opening acts flew by, leaving the crowd buzzing warmly in anticipation of Daisy the Great.
The band was met with fanfare as they walked onstage as headliners for the first time. Cheers hardly died down as they began “Time Machine,” the very first song on their 2022 album All You Need is Time. Self-proclaimed “best friends,” Walker and Dugan looked at each other in apparent awe of the fervent crowd as they sang. Walker, a bit choked up, told the audience: “You made me cry during the first song!”
The grateful band did not let their emotions get the best of them and quickly changed gears, letting their quirky sense of humor shine as they all donned sunglasses for what Walker called a “cool song.”
// The band donned sunglasses for one song. Photo by Meredith Blanchard.
The brand breezed through familiar numbers like “I’m Just Another Person Oh God,” “Easy,” and “I’m Fine” before they got to an unreleased song, called “Looking You Up.”
Walker explained to WHRB that they find a lot of value in playing new music live before it is released: “A lot of times, with making music you write a song when you're feeling a certain feeling. And then you record it, and then it comes out like a year or two later. And you're like, ‘Dang, I wish I was performing that right when I was in those feelings’ ... it is exciting for us to share something completely new with people and see how they react to it in real time.”
Before their second new song, titled “You Know Me Well,” Dugan let the audience know that, “for some reason, we stacked our set with new music.” Throughout the night the band played a total of three new, unreleased songs. The third was a number called “Ballerina.”
Daisy the Great’s signature harmonies and layered audio tracks seem like they would be difficult to convey live, but it seemed that their signature sound was made more vibrant onstage. With just one backup vocalist, the band managed to maintain every bit of rich harmonization and vocal stacking that fans enjoy when listening at home.
Despite their shining performance, Walker and Dugan still remained down-to-earth, tuning guitars onstage and even restarting one number, at which point Walker said: “I forgot how to start the song. This is a transparent show, no tricks,” and then immediately launched back into the set. Songs were permeated by cheery choreography: During “Aluminum,” Walker and Dugan executed a macarena-like dance number that left fans smiling.
The audience was guided through a range of emotions, from “Tell Me Have You Been Dancing,” a “song about missing someone” performed just by Dugan and Walker without the rest of the band, to a hectic ending of “Cry in the Mirror” where Walker screamed into the microphone and the rest of the band began bashing drums, keys, and generally wreaking havoc to their instruments. Close to the end of the set, the band brough Klug back onstage to sing “Smile Pretty Girl.” During “Liar,” the band told the audience to “jump around a lot at the end.”
// Fans jump during the end of “Liar.” Photo by Meredith Blanchard
On top of the jumping, the audience showed their love for the band in other ways, like a fan handing Walker a capybara keychain. Another (particularly tall) fan held a sign that read “I have been dancing” in response to the question posed by their song “Tell Me Have You Been Dancing.”
A disco ball aptly descended during “Glitter,” casting sparkles onto the audience. All of a sudden the main set had concluded and the encore began. Walker turned the mic to the front row during “Seasoned.”
// Photo by Meredith Blanchard
Naturally, the band concluded with their most well-known song, the 2017 hit “The Record Player Song.”
After Boston, the band headed to Columbus, OH. They will continue to tour for another month, ending their first headlining tour on May 12 in Brooklyn.
And after the tour?
“I think that we would be very excited if we could release some new music ... I feel like we would have a great time if we did that,” Dugan told WHRB. “And I'm sure that we are going to tour later, in the fall. I'm sure of it.”
// Meredith Blanchard ’26 is a staff writer for Record Hospital.