Now, Now’s performance on Friday, August 3 had a little bit of everything: angsty, emo-pop lyrics, electronic dance beats, loud, distorted guitars, yelling, crying and laughing. It was, in every sense of the phrase, a rollercoaster of emotion for everyone—all with a tangible layer of altruism. Opener WENS properly primed the crowd with a truly unique brand of pop music. With production akin to Billie Ellish and BANKS and vocals that rival those of pop giants Ariana Grande or Selena Gomez, WENS, at a glance, may have seemed like an odd choice to open for a guitar-driven emo band. But with a closer listen, WENS music felt more closely related lyrically, especially to that of Cacie Dalager.
Following WENS’ energetic and confident performance, Now, Now took the stage to exuberant applause from a full house at Kilby Court. The band looked a little different from their last tour stop in Salt Lake City. In the six years since the release of their breakthrough album, Threads, Dalager and Brad Hale parted ways (amicably) with former permanent member Jess Abbott and picked up two touring members to fill out their evolved, dreampop-esque sound.
Exposés from the likes of Pitchfork and The Fader have highlighted the emotional turmoil the band endured in the six years between albums—mostly caused by impatient demands from fans on the internet – but seeing Dalager and Hale perform live gives fans a much better feel for their emotional state than any article could. Cycling through songs from Saved and Threads, there was a tangible shift in emotions. Excitement turned pensiveness, turned pride, turned gratitude; hence the emotional rollercoaster. As Now, Now rounded out their set, Dalager paused for a moment of thanks and became overwhelmed. The crowd fell silent as Dalager and Brad reflected on the past six years, and expressed their deep appreciation for a fanbase that stuck around, showed up and remembered all the words—and they really did.