Dallas rockers Tripping Daisy are back. Get ready for the show with these key tracks

Tripping Daisy Photo: Courtesy Good Records

For Tripping Daisy, the reunion came gradually, then suddenly. 

The Dallas-based psych pop-rock band first coalesced in 1990, when Tim DeLaughter, Wes Berggren, Mark Pirro and Jeff Bouck joined forces. The quartet’s run stretched for the better part of a decade, but came to a halt after Berggren died tragically young in 1999. DeLaughter and Pirro pivoted to the Polyphonic Spree not long after, and the rest is history.

Tripping Daisy reunited fitfully, for the first time in 2017 (and again in 2019 and 2022) before making it official earlier this year: The band is once again active, now includes Bryan Wakeland, Phil Karnats, Nick Earl and Dylan Silvers, in addition to DeLaughter and Pirro. (There’s even the possibility of a new album.) 

The latest iteration of Tripping Daisy will take the stage for its only 2024 performance on June 29 at the Factory in Deep Ellum. “The hands of time aren’t slowing down or going backwards,” Pirro told the Dallas Observer earlier this year. “It’s just awesome to be able to get together and capitalize on the opportunity. … I’m just glad we can all together in good health and do something like this.”

To get you ready for the reunion, or spark fond reminisces of Tripping Daisy’s early years, here are five key tracks to play at maximum volume.

“My Umbrella”

There might be no better illustration of Tripping Daisy’s heady origins than this clip, which pulls from the band’s 1992 debut, Bill. A cascade of lysergic imagery, a relentless energy and visual snippets of Tripping Daisy’s justly celebrated live shows — it’s a time capsule that’s as potent sonically as it is visually.

“I Got a Girl”

Tripping Daisy’s biggest hit, taken from its breakthrough 1995 LP (and major label debut) I Am an Elastic Firecracker, this ebullient slice of ‘90s alt-rock — DeLaughter’s sing-song delivery juxtaposes nicely with the chunky guitars and driving drums — has aged like a fine wine. 

“Trip Along”

A (comparatively) more contemplative track from Firecracker, DeLaughter and his collaborators showcase a tender bombast that would blossom more fully in the context of the Polyphonic Spree — it’s nigh impossible to listen to this gorgeous song in hindsight and not hear seeds of what was to come creatively.

“Sonic Bloom”

Tripping Daisy would deliver its masterpiece with its third studio album, 1998’s Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb. A deft fusion of technical skill — Berggren and Karnats trade exquisite guitar lines here and elsewhere, buoying DeLaughter’s hopeful, heart-on-sleeve lyrics — pathos and freaked-out psychedelia, “Sonic Bloom” exemplifies the Tripping Daisy ethos: “Love gets inside of you/It makes me invincible.” 

“Drama Day Weekend”

The band’s self-titled fourth record, released independently in 2000, came as Tripping Daisy was disintegrating in the aftermath of Berggren’s death. As of now, it’s the group’s most recent studio effort, but there are glimmers of hope that a fifth LP may materialize in the coming months. There’s a faintly grim undertow at work here, a reminder of joy’s flipside.

Tripping Daisy at The Factory in Deep Ellum, Dallas. 8 p.m. June 29. Tickets are $35-$75.

Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.