Earlier this month, Charleston slowcore band Dawning hit the road with Worlds Worst out of Salt Lake City for a weeklong run through the Southeast.
I was lucky enough to catch two back-to-back shows from this run including Dawning’s hometown show on Friday, September 9th at The Royal American, and the following Saturday night at Columbia’s Cola Town Bike Collective.
The show on Friday night at The Royal American was opened by Greenville’s Aubrey Key who showcased his songwriting talent in tracks like “Flies” and “Sad Cowboy Emoji.” His sound combines elements of folk, fuzz, and rock to form an interesting fusion reminiscent of Daniel Johnston and Alex G.
Worlds Worst took the stage next and got the crowd flying left and right. A Worlds Worst show is three things: electric, eclectic, and eccentric. Song after song, the band lobs mosh-worthy tracks at the crowd and they never seem to miss. Worlds Worst brought all of their energy while performing “Postal,” a high powered noise rock track.
The band is composed of Jake Phillips, Andrew Aronson, Max Schoenfield, and Zach Mayo. They have released two EPs, 2020’s EP1 and 2021’s EP2, which are both available on streaming services, with more music on the way.
Worlds Worst debuted two new songs on this tour: “Challenger” & “Mallard.”
Finally, Dawning took the stage with “In Irons” (a personal favorite of mine), hypnotizing the crowd into a state of stasis. Next, the band unleashed the leviathan of a track: “Lorimer St.” What starts as flowing riffs builds into colossal storms of guitar before returning to the original riff with a new punchy attitude.
Next up was “Pony Boy”, which Dawning’s Jackson Wise wrote as an ode to his childhood friend Jake Phillips of Worlds Worst. Jake was of course in attendance that evening, making for a sentimental and touching performance.
“Sediment” chilled out the crowd with an on-brand slowcore sound. The Royal American was filled with wavering heads as Wise exclaimed, “Why am I so afraid? / There’s nothing to fear here.”
Dawning closed out the night with “We All Went Swimming”, the first track off of their first release, Demo Tape. They drowned the crowd in a sea of screaming shoegaze that wrestled with a heartfelt vocal performance from frontman Jackson Wise.
Saturday, September 10th: Dawning, Worlds Worst, and Gamine and Cola Town Bike Collective
Then, on the following Saturday night (September 10th), a small bike shop in Columbia called Cola Town Bike Collective threw a festival as a fundraising event, bringing in Charleston band Dawning, Salt Lake City band Worlds Worst, and Columbia band Gamine, which was opened with a DJ set from Flippin.
The rain moved the show inside the bike shop, so as it stormed outside, Dawning dropped thunderous riffs on a crowd of rowdy punks. The atmosphere was perfect for a slowcore show.
Worlds Worst’s set cranked up the energy in the room as they blasted through their setlist. People were moshing to every song and by the end of it there were a couple crowd surfers!
The locals went crazy for Gamine, a noise rock band with influences like The Cure and Sonic Youth. Gamine entwines wailing gain and Cassidy Spencer’s screaming vocals into a stylish dark-core sound. A perfect end to the night!
The next chance you’ll have to catch Dawning will be at Extra Chill Fest on Saturday October 1st at the Charleston Pour House! They’ll be kicking off the all day festival at 3 pm so be sure to get there early!
Tickets and more info on Extra Chill Fest available here.