Daughter plays Asheville for the first time

Karrigan Monk
A&F Staff Writer
kmonk@unca.edu

A line stretches from The Orange Peel to Wicked Weed Nov. 7. The crowd files into the club and waits quietly for the show to begin.

An hour after doors open, Vancouver Sleep Clinic takes the stage. After a few songs, the lead singer introduces them and tells a cheering audience this the first time the native Australians have visited the U.S.

After a short set of melancholic rock songs with distorted vocals, Vancouver Sleep Clinic leaves the stage.

A few moments later, the headliner Daughter enters the stage with a roar from the audience.

Daughter's latest effort Not to Disappear was released on Jan. 15. Photo courtesy of 4AD Records.
Daughter’s latest effort Not to Disappear was released on Jan. 15. Photo courtesy of 4AD Records.

Daughter sings several songs before guitarist Igor Haefeli finally addresses the audience.

“You may have noticed that we are quite awkward on stage,” Haefeli said. “It’s not you, it’s us.”

The audience laughs at this as the band continues their set. The Orange Peel is lit up with brightly colored lights. Daughter’s songs give the feeling of nostalgia and the lights reflect this. These are songs meant to make you miss someone.

While most of the audience sways and holds each other to the music, a few audience members on the edge of the crowd dance wildly. Their eyes are closed as their bodies twist to the music, their hands flowing over their heads. Others look at them with some judgment, but they cannot see and they do not care. While Daughter sings passionately on stage, the dancers mirror the passion back to them.

Although the band does little more than perform, they do so flawlessly with little to no mistakes. While perhaps not the most entertaining band, lead singer Elena Tonra’s haunting voice keeps listeners glued to the stage.

“Thank you so much for coming out tonight,” Tonra said timidly halfway through the show. “I’m sorry I’m like this and have to keep changing my guitar.”

The audience keeps quiet for most of the show, choosing not to sing along, but to only sway during the music and clap and cheer during the pauses.

It is only when Daughter begins to play their most popular song “Youth,” that the audience begins to sing along. After a long cheer as the opening chords play, the crowd begins to sing beautifully along with Tonra who cannot contain her smile through the song. Each time the audience begins to die away, she nods in encouragement and the singing swells up again.

“I hope we can come back,” Tonra said. “It’s been such a good day just roaming around.”

The band’s final song hauntingly echoes “if you leave me.” The band takes a bow and walks off the stage as the crowd cheers.

Rather than leaving, the crowd begins chanting for an encore. The first attempt at this dies out rather quickly, but is resurrected along with feet. A few moments later, the beaming members of Daughter come back on stage.

“Alright, I guess we’ll play one more,” Tonra said.

Daughter’s entire set up to this point had been comprised of slow songs, but the encore was an absolute rocker. The crowd cheers and every member is dancing in fashion. For the first time, Daughter looks as if they are truly having fun. Throughout the show Tonra and Haefeli made eye contact while singing emotional songs, but for this one they are looking at each other and laughing. They are jamming with friends and they are doing it perfectly.    

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