Daisy the Great Brings Dreamy Romanticism to Chicago
By Justice Petersen – Lollapalooza photo by Dennis M. Kelly
“I might be lyin’ but a lion in a jungle is a king” – lyrics from “Easy” by Daisy the Great
Indie-pop group Daisy the Great played to a packed Beat Kitchen on Saturday night. Currently, on their All You Need is Time Tour, Daisy the Great plays dreamy folk-influenced pop music that brings listeners to a state of peaceful longing.
They may be lying, according to the lyrics of “Easy” from their 2022 album “All You Need is Time”, but nobody is lying if they say that the romantic group knows how to bring friends and lovers together through their mellifluous harmonies, catchy guitar riffs, and cheeky lyric writing.
Opening up for Daisy the Great were Panther Hollow (a.k.a. Bernardo Ochoa, bassist, and guitarist for Daisy the Great) and indie artist Olive Klug. Panther Hollow writes beautiful songs that are reassuring in their relatability, and Olive Klug sings her songs with pristine and heavenly vocals over a soft acoustic guitar. Klug plays the guitar and sings with such refined softness that one doesn’t dare make a sound while she performs for fear of shattering the fragile sounds like glass.
Daisy the Great opened up their set with their hit song “Time Machine” which starts with dreamlike psychedelic vocal melodies and guitars. The group is led by Kelly Nicole Dugan and Mina Walker, who are able to create songs that are addicting from just the vocal arrangements alone. Like a Gen Z take on David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” meets Green Day’s “Brutal Love”, “Time Machine” is a nostalgic love song that hopeful romantics who’ve had their hearts shattered will have on repeat.
The venue was packed with fans of all ages. While it was mostly college-aged people, it was a fairly diverse crowd as adults with small children on their shoulders and entire groups of families with pre-teen daughters were also in attendance. This variety in the show’s turnout shows how Daisy the Great is able to attract multiple generations of music lovers with their dream-pop sound.
While the group played through many of their familiar tracks, they also performed three new unreleased songs: “Looking You Up”, “You Know Me Well” and “Ballerina”. These songs bring to fans the signature sense of longing, feeling, and peppiness that Daisy the Great conveys in their music. This is seen as both Kelly and Mina sing “I wanna touch you but I wanna be an independent girl” in “Looking You Up” or “I wake up at 4 a.m. these days, I’ve got a lot on my mind” in “Ballerina”.
Daisy the Great gave an emotional performance, displaying unapologetic vulnerability – much like they do in their songwriting. As they played “Tell Me Have You Been Dancing,” the band went silent and let the crowd sing the chorus: “Tell me, have you been dancing lately? Are you gonna die? Like the beautiful mess, you left me when you wasted all my time. Will you love me back? Or should I stop keeping track? Will you love me back? Or should I stop? Will you love me back? Or should I stop?”
As the audience sang beautifully, Mina let her emotions show as she wiped tears from her eyes. It was an extremely heartfelt concert; Mina being overwhelmed by the love of the crowd would probably bring a tear to the eye of anyone in attendance, whether they were a diehard fan of Daisy the Great or not.
The band played through several of their most loved songs, such as “Cry in the Mirror”, “Glitter” and “Persephone”, which Kelly says is a song about nobody understanding the love you have for another person you long for. In their songs, Daisy the Great sings about these strange instances of youthful love, where love can be something you feel down to your bones but also something you don’t quite know how to navigate – all you know is that you feel it and you want to keep chasing that feeling. Daisy the Great makes music to listen to while dreaming about what you want.
The band closed their set with an encore consisting of “Seasoned” and “The Record Player Song” – the latter being, arguably, their most famous song (thanks to TikTok). As the band walked around the venue after the show, fans poured their hearts out as they said how much they loved the band, to which members of Daisy the Great were extremely kind and thankful, taking the time to talk with everyone who approached them.
There’s a poem by Sara Teasdale called “The Look”. It reads, “Strephon kissed me in the spring, / Robin in the fall, / But Colin only looked at me / And never kissed at all. / Strephon’s kiss was lost in jest, / Robin’s lost in play, / But the kiss in Colin’s eyes / Haunts me night and day. “
Daisy the Great makes music for those who are haunted by the kiss in someone’s eyes.
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DAISY THE GREAT – ALL YOU NEED IS TIME TOUR 2023
W/ OLIVE KLUG
12 – Allston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
14 – Columbus, OH – The Basement
15 – Chicago, IL – Beat Kitchen
16 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th St. Entry
18 – Denver, CO – Marquis Theater
19 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
21 – Portland, OR – Holocene
22 – Seattle, WA – Barboza
25 – San Francisco, CA – Café Du Nord
28 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo
29 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues San Diego
2 – Dallas, TX – Dada Dallas
3 – Austin, TX – Antone’s
5 – New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa
6 – Atlanta, GA – Shaky Knees Festival*
7 – Nashville, TN – The End
10 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore Philadelphia
11 – Washington, DC – Songbyrd Music House
12 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
28 – Pittsburgh, PA – WonderWorks Music Festival*
*without Olive Klug