Daughter and Jeremy Messersmith at the Fine Line, 5/10/13
With Jeremy Messersmith
Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis
May 10, 2013
Two Glassnote recording artists on the rise delighted a sold-out Fine Line on Friday night, as London's Daughter and local singer/songwriter Jeremy Messersmith joined up for the first night of their tour together, a well-matched jaunt. While Messersmith was playing his first Minneapolis club date since signing with Glassnote, Daughter returned to the area in support of their debut LP, If You Leave.
This show lacked a bit of the intimacy and charm of Daughter's Entry debut back in October, but it was still magical, as they delivered a gorgeous 80-minute set that set anticipation high for their return to the Twin Cities in August to open for the National.
Jeremy Messersmith was playing solo on this tour, and portions of the talkative Fine Line crowd missed out on the subtle allure of his set, but most of the packed house remained attentive. The set started with Jeremy playing along to his own pre-recorded and looped guitar riffs and vocals, which helped add some texture to the stark, solo renditions of his songs, especially on "John the Determinist" and the ambient "Paper Moon." But that arrangement also seemed to make the singer a bit uneasy, with Messersmith breathing a well-earned sigh of relief after the first batch of songs were completed, "Now the terrifying stuff is over."
And indeed, Messersmith seemed to loosen up quite a bit from that point on, and the set soared as a result. A classic, '50s-sounding pop gem from his forthcoming new record, "I Want to Be Your One Night Stand" really enlivened the set, as did a surprisingly tender reworking of Robyn's club anthem, "Call Your Girlfriend."
A lovely version of "Love You to Pieces" quickly followed, before Messersmith debuted a rollicking new song, "It's Only Dancing," which featured an irresistibly catchy hook as well as a raucous guitar solo from Jeremy, which only added to the exuberant spirit of the song itself. "Thanks for coming early," Jeremy stated warmly as his 45-minute set came to an end. "This is a fun way to kick off the start of a tour for me." And with that, he closed his performance with an elegant take on "A Boy, a Girl, and a Graveyard," as the hometown crowd saw him off with a well deserved ovation.
Daughter took to the stage along with multi-instrumentalist fourth member, Luke Saunders, who added plenty of texture and keys to their frequently hushed sounds, especially on their slow-building first number, "Shallows." The supportive but talkative Friday night crowd professed their love for drummer Remi Aguilella before the second number, causing him to blush a bit from the recognition. Frontwoman Elena Tonra then quietly thanked the crowd, saying, "It's so lovely to be back in Minneapolis," before easing the band into a vibrant take on "Candles." But it was a soaring, dynamic version of "Love" that really gave the set its initial spark, with Igor Haefeli using a bow on his guitar, creating a stirring, Jónsi-like squall that only added to the song's wistful churn.
An impassioned take on "Still" kept the strong momentum going, with the band taking on a richer, more sonorous direction since their initial Minneapolis show, a result no doubt due to extensive touring and a self-assured confidence that permeates the layered beauty of their songs. But that poise hasn't quite transferred to their between song banter as of yet, as the band is quite painfully shy while interacting with the crowd, with Tonra endearingly admitting as much later in the show, "We're a very awkward band. I'm sorry." But thankfully their dynamic songs say more than enough, and there were no apologies needed for the musical portions of the set, as "Landfill" overcame a humorous false-start from Tonra, while Aguilella dexterously played bass and drums on a pulsing version of "Run."
After a luxuriously textured take on "Human," Tonra thanked the crowd warmly for their overwhelming support. "So, our first record came out recently, and we see this whole tour as a way to celebrate it. So, thank you so much for joining in our celebration." A devastating, keys-laden take on "Smother" then followed, with Tonra delivering the heartbreaking lines, "I sometimes wish I'd stayed inside my mother -- never to come out" to a stunned and (mostly) silent crowd as the song soared to a close. An effervescent, slow-burning take on "Winter," the lead-off track on If You Leave, featured a powerful, percussion-driven outro that found the entire band lost in the swelling emotions and energy of the song.
A wistful version of "Tomorrow" lead smoothly into the band's biggest single to date, "Youth," which was greeted with a big roar by fans who were familiar with the number due to its local radio play. The crowd sang along with Tonra as the song gradually built to its raw, passionate conclusion, which was drenched in the broken vulnerability of being young and in love. The audience cheered wildly after the song finished, with the band taken aback by the support shown by their Twin Cities fans.
"It's so nice to come to another country and play to a full room like this," said Haefeli appreciatively. "We have no idea how many people are into our music out here, so this is really nice." And Tonra was quick to thank Jeremy Messersmith for not only opening the show with a great set, but bringing treats to the band as well. "He brought us pastries today -- he's so sweet. We're looking forward to playing with him. This will be a very civilized tour," she joked. But there was nothing funny about the last song of the main set, as a simmering, elegiac version of "Home" gradually built to a rousing finish, which featured Haefeli blowing his amp amidst the squall and the band cutting the cacophonous end a bit short as they left the stage to loud cheers.
Daughter don't really do encores, but when the ovation didn't subside they surprisingly reappeared on stage, with Tonra sheepishly warning, "We're going to try a song we don't typically play. So, if it goes wrong, just pretend we didn't come back out." Haefeli further set up the encore, explaining, "We did this for a radio show once -- I think that's the only time we've ever played it." And with that, the band eased into a soaring take on Daft Punk's new single, "Get Lucky," reprising their wonderful take from a recent Radio 1 session, which churned with a lively beat that stood out boldly from the band's more reserved material.
Tonra humbly dismissed their spirited version as she left the stage with a laugh, "Just pretend that we never came back out here." But their dynamic cover proved to be the perfect way to end this special show, as the band thanked us for our support in their own way by playing a rare song for us, and we saw them off with a loud, well-earned ovation that will surely greet them when they triumphantly return to a Twin Cities stage in August.
Personal Bias: Daughter's stunning Entry show made me a full on believer in their irresistible charms, and this show only strengthened that connection.
The Crowd: A weird mix of talkative bros out to get drunk on a Friday night, older fans checking out the newest UK offering, and die hard fans who filled the Entry the last time they played here.
Overheard In The Crowd: I don't want to dignify the dumb shit I heard at the show by quoting them--some of it was truly obnoxious and rude.
Random Notebook Dump: I'm still waiting to get my hands on a copy of His Young Heart EP, which I didn't see at the merch stand (they sold out of it before their Entry show as well).
Get Lucky (Daft Punk)(Encore)
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.