After months of electric build up, Tripping Daisy reunions have overwhelmed even the substantial buzz. Performing for the first time in 2017 since disbanding in 1999, following the death of lead guitarist Wes Berggren, Tim DeLaughter and the current iteration of the seminal Dallas psychedelic alt-rock outfit have now packed festivals and clubs around the state.
Even better, DeLaughter acknowledges that Tripping Daisy will likely soon be back for more, rather than retreating into a nostalgia-only no-band land.
With one more show coming up, on Friday, July 7, in North Richland Hills, DeLaughter can now look back on the performances in Dallas, Houston, Waco, San Antonio and Austin.
"I had a couple of different moments where I said to myself, 'Oh, my God, I can't believe this is happening,'" DeLaughter says.
Certainly there were scores of fans who felt the same way, especially during the two hometown shows at Club Dada in Deep Ellum and Homegrown Fest in downtown Dallas. Tripping Daisy's Homegrown Fest appearance was one of the hottest hometown reunion shows in the past several years in D-FW, and it was an explosive trip in the way-back machine.
It also isn't the last of Tripping Daisy, DeLaughter confirms. As leader of choral rock collective Polyphonic Spree, he's busy, but not too busy for Tripping Daisy.
"We have had so much fun," he says, "I'm sure there will be more for Tripping Daisy, but I'm not sure what that looks like just yet."
The band expects a flashier setup with its July 7 gig at NYTEX Sports Centre. It will be "bigger than anything we've ever done before," DeLaughter says, which is significant as the group has long been admired for its imaginative and vivid visual stage presentations.
The gig will be filmed and recorded, with "several cameras, a crane and even a drone flying around," though the band doesn't know what it will do with the footage just yet.
But is Tripping Daisy's reunion enough to hatch a new business — one that involves a tour or upcoming albums?
The Homegrown Fest reunion indeed gave the band an excuse to play a few more shows, but that shouldn't be confused with the band embarking some high-level cash-grabbing business plan.
"We did the reunion because we finally really wanted to," he says. "We just did it all on our own and didn't worry about the business side of it, or whether this would lead to a bigger, more national-type of tour or anything like that."
Aside from the mammoth lines at the band's concert merch booths, where T-shirt designs both classic and new were snapped up, the most obvious commercial sign of the enthusiasm around the group's return is rather unglamorous: The band's most critically respected record, 1998's colorful Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb, had been out of print and even unavailable on digital platforms such as iTunes for over a decade. But, after feeling the fevered buzz of the reunion announcement in early 2017, Island Records, the major label that released three Tripping Daisy records in the '90s, finally put the ahead-of-its-time album back up for sale.
Money isn't top of mind, DeLaughter admits. Leading up to that first show back together, family man DeLaughter said a driving factor for Tripping Daisy's reunion was his kids' wishes to see their dad's old band get back together. The past is worth reliving only if you can share it with those you love in the present, DeLaughter might say.
"During Homegrown, my son Julius ran on stage, gave me a big hug, then jumped off the stage and floated away on the crowd, looking at me the whole time," he says.
"It was amazing and it was surreal, because that is why I did it. People just don't get moments like that in life, but that's Tripping Daisy for me."
Look through photos of one of Tripping Daisy's recent reunion shows: