crowd lined up out the doors of Saturn for the Daughters show with HEALTH and Show Me the Body on December 13. Birmingham, Alabama’s Avondale neighborhood, was full of eager fans, clothed in black and ready to hear some loud music. Inside the venue, a thick layer of fog covered the stage and the floor while people sat up against the stage, clearly staking out their prime spot for the show. 

The night opened with a set from Show Me the Body. This hardcore band from New York played heavily from their recent release, Dog Whistle and their loud aggressive sound immediately peaked everybody’s interest. By the time their set was done, the floor was completely covered in spilled beer and handfuls of sweaty smiling people were talking about how good they were. “They just tore [Saturn] apart,” said one random guy to his friend. 

After Show Me The Body, HEALTH was next. There were plenty of people in the audience with HEALTH merch on so they appeared to be a crowd favorite. This band from Los Angeles, packed a huge punch. Their combination of loud, distorted guitar and bass paired with bright lights that seemed to fire at random leaving the crowd dazed in the best way possible. It was almost impossible to see the members playing through the lights but it was hard to miss bassist John Famiglietti’s impressive hair flipping. 

By the time Daughters came on stage, the venue was packed. For anybody who is unfamiliar, this Providence, Rhode Island-based band is somewhat known for their live sets. People were crammed at the front, practically falling on top of the stage and squeezing into any available space they could find. The band kept the crowd waiting in anticipation before they eventually came out which only led to an increasing energy that seemed almost tangible in the room. When lead singer, Alexis S.F. Marshall and the rest of the band eventually filed out on stage, the crowd went wild. Their opening song “The Reason They Hate Me” is very reminiscent of early Nine Inch Nails. A mosh pit started almost immediately and did not end for the rest of the night. Everybody seemed to be having the time of their lives, singing and jumping along to every song. 

Marshall’s stage antics are unmatched. At one point lead singer Alexis swung the microphone around the upper beams in the venues ceiling, causing it to become tangled and him having to sing parallel to it as it swung around. He also threw the microphone (and the mic stand) into the crowds faces multiple times, inciting a sort of cathartic sing-along. At one point, he also stuck the entire microphone into his mouth, a moment that was both grotesque and captivating.

A big crowd favorite was “The Hit” the third track from Daughter’s 2010 self-titled album. This song has a specific line that acts as almost like a chant. “The hands are the eyelids of the soul” was screamed from almost every audience member. It echoed throughout the walls of the venue causing everyone who was not participating to stop and watch. 

Marshall interacted with the audience on a level that is seldom seen among live performances. He continuously got into the faces of those in the crowd, would spit water on them and even let someone put their hand in his mouth at one point. This level of intimacy almost drove the audience into complete hysterics at some points. Because the show was in Alabama, it was only natural for a fan to bring up football during the show. During a lull in between songs a woman cried out “Roll Tide!!” inciting mixed reviews from the crowd. However, Marshall had the stand-out quote of the night. “We don’t know what that means,” he said in between walking around the stage and setting up for the next song. “We aren’t from here.” Daughters in fact is not “from here,” they’re from everywhere. Their music encompasses genres and places and stories from all walks of life. Their live shows bring together all kinds of people into one big mix of energy. The best way to experience Daughters is to hear them live. 

Photos by
Erin Dickson