The two ends of the spectrum were well represented. Down on the floor, at the epicenter an engaged assembly clearly ready to let the emotion shaking music of Daughter envelope them. On the outer rim and up on the balcony, a group of people celebrating birthdays and talking about the song that they’ve “cried to many times before” while it’s being performed live. An odd mixture for a sold out show.
Daughter to me has always been a very personal experience. Though I had listened many times in public, I was always in my own headphone universe. To have only had that experience then walk into a jam-packed First Avenue, I didn’t know what to expect. From headphones to amplifiers, isolation to an impermeable crowd, could I connect the same way I always had?
Watching from the epicenter, I was captivated by lead singer Elena Tonra’s stillness. With lyrics as raw and bare as “I sometimes wish I’d stayed inside my mother, never to come out,” her almost catatonic state only emphasized the authenticity of the emotions. Meanwhile lead guitarist Igor Haefeli, seemed to feel every beat, his passion for the tone and the instrumentation was immediately apparent. The illustrated intimacy, honesty and dedication to production of mood helped this experience transcend the rest.
In middle of the show a change of scenery was needed due to some lightheadedness, and led to a brief mingle with the other end of the spectrum. Needless to say, it was a distracting. A spiritual affair became a grumbling contemplation of how the audience at a sold out show could include anyone so disinterested, followed by the realization that maybe this is just what life is like away from the epicenter.
Eventually, an oasis with a clear sightline became available and all was right again. As the crowd sang every word to “Youth” we caught one of a few big smiles from Elena, a representation and acknowledgement of the communion felt throughout (almost) the entire First Avenue.