Augustana at Varsity Theater, 1/14/13
"Sunday Best" is a song that is never performed by the band, but since he often gets so many requests for it, Dan yielded to the appeals and played the rare piece. It's also rare for a headlining band to not do an encore -- it's almost expected -- so no one truly believed Layus when he said "Alive" would be the last song. Before the last piece, Dan told the audience, "Thank you for all so much for being here tonight. My life is good. I've been sober for a couple of years now, hence the ability to stand up here for twenty plus songs. (The band infamously had to reschedule a KS95 show a few years ago because Dan fell off the stage.) Tonight was wonderful. It's me, it's David, and it's you, and that's it." The song, written about his wife and three children, showcases Dan's talent for lyrics and ability to craft a melody, again about redemption and love and questioning everything that comes with life. Without being preachy, he shares, "This is my battle, This is not a devil, and this is not a child of God, This is not a message, and this is not a gunshot, I'm just loving you, babe, with everything I've got." As a goodnight to the crowd, Dan declared, "This is David. I am Daniel. You are Dinkytown."
|Photo by Youa Vang|
Critic's bias: Despite not liking their third album as much, I have seen Augustana a few times, but this was by far my favorite performance. Dan Layus has really polished up his live show.
The crowd: Young twenty-somethings.
Overheard in the crowd: "Oh, my god. We're so close to him; I can see that he drives an Audi." (from his car keys on his carabiner)
Random notebook dump: The opener, Lauren Shera, said the Varsity was so magical, she expected a unicorn to come galloping out.
Random notebook dump two: Augustana had no merch for sale. I wonder how much money they are missing out on by having this approach.
I Still Ain't Over You
Just Stay Here Tonight
Stars and Boulevards
Sweet and Low
Need a Little Sunshine
Steal Your Heart
Love in the Air
On the Other Side
Meet You There
Shot in the Dark
Alive (New Song)