LIVE REVIEW: Dayseeker, Acres, O2 Academy Islington, London, 16/05/2023
Photo Credit: Amber Paredes
A black sun is a thing of natural beauty. Representing the eclipse of the day, where the sun and the moon collide in perfect harmony to cause a partial or full blackout of daylight, spiritually, a black sun signifies something much much darker. Evoking a sense of loneliness, desolation or complete and utter sadness, a black or dark sun is a tale of two halves. Stunning but sorrowful and that’s what Dayseeker’s expansive fifth LP Dark Sun portrays. From stunning spine-tingling falsettos that are akin to the likes of their peers in Holding Absence or Caskets to crushing Siamese style synthpop breakdowns and soul-destroying turmoil rooted in death and how the world just looks a little darker without someone in it.
But it’s that stark contrast with the light and the dark Dayseeker have done so well over the course of a decade and their live show is no exception to that ying and yang balance. More captivating than a complete solar eclipse, Dayseeker stunned and shone bright during the climax of their UK tour down at a sold-out Islington O2 Academy, for a neon glowing spectacle that makes you realise right in that moment that life is so so precious.
Pre-Dayseeker proceedings were rammed up when the second act of the night Acres stepped out onto stage. A band who had the success of the back of their stunning 2019 debut album Lonely World disrupted, Acres place on this tour feels well deserved. Four years later and four years stronger, the band’s sophomore follow up in 2023’s Burning Throne cements some of the bands most melodic and memorable material to date and it’s the latter that leaves a lasting impression on Islington. 8/10
“London this is our second show in your city and you’ve sold it out again. It’s been a decade since we have been back here and I couldn’t think of a better place to end this tour than here in London” reminisces frontman Rory Rodriguez upon Dayseeker drawing to a close their glossy set opener Dreamstate. A song so gripping it captivated each and every crowd member and transported them to this pink fluffy cloud shaped heaven, voices singing in unison and riding high on emotional euphoria, the crowd clinging onto every emotionally charged word that left Rodriguez lips.
Where this dreaminess would return later for a majestic slew of Dayseeker’s newest material coming in the form of the heartbreaking Without Me and the hypnotic Crying While You’re Dancing, evoking an emotional mass singalong. Dayseeker disrupted the run of the new with a chain of their former heavier post hardcore selves, songs such as the colossal Crooked Soul, heartbreaking Burial Plot, the life altering Vultures and the saddening Homesick, a song with a string sentiment Rodriguez openly shares, “Our band is associated with some sad songs that are there for you when you are going through something. And a couple of years ago I was in the darkest place of my life.”
If there is one thing that runs through the scorching hot core of Dark Sun is its bravery to tackle the trials and tribulations that come with losing a loved one and Neon Grave couldn’t be more of a fitting tribute. “Dayseeker wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my dad” starts Rory Rodriguez on the inspirational role his father played in influencing Dayseeker’s pipe dream of a music career to become a reality. And as Rory and the rest of Dayseeker stand in front of a sold out O2 Academy in Islington in a city they love so dearly, you can’t help but think Rory’s late great father would be looking down with immense pride, brimming from ear to ear with elated tears rolling down his face, the look experienced, felt and replicated by so many tonight.
Written By: Katie Conway-Flood