Concert Review: Sylvan Esso
On Friday, March 13th, Sylvan Esso energetically occupied the Promowest stage at The Newport Music Hall. It was one of the first dry days of the Spring season, and the sold-out venue was elated to host the North Carolina based group. Sylvan Esso’s self titled release in 2014 managed to attract worldwide attention quickly, thanks to their “Hey Mami” track being featured in Sono’s Sound System claymation commercial. The catchy harmonious vocals were accessible to the thousands of viewers, creating an easy-listening experience for viewers to relate with.
Previously singing vocals with two other women in trio Mountain Man, Amelia Meath met her current bandmate Nick Sanborn (of Megafaun) in 2013 and birthed the electronic duo Sylvan Esso. “Hey Mami” and “Play It Right” were released, exposing Sylvan Esso’s collaborative sound to many music publications across the globe. Their ten-track record is incredibly versatile; Amelia’s quick patterned vocals gracefully glide upon the lyrics, with a deliberate contrast against Nick’s synthesizer. Sylvan Esso has mastered the art of the build-up, commencing each track with a smooth, vocal introduction, and Nathan’s complimentary synth with a simplistic electronic backbeat. This strategic composition allows listeners to slowly move in a pattern with the artists, all in unison. The progression of the Sylvan Esso record is dynamic, and explores the many approaches towards calming female vocals and fleeting synthesizer.
The sold-out show at The Newport Music Hall was immediately crowded with an electric energy — the 1000+ individuals anticipating the friendly EDM dance beats. Without fail, the stage was dressed with a similar energy, resembling a large night club in New York City. The pitch black venue was littered with pulsing neon lights, oscillating between white, blue, green and yellow. It was an impeccable atmosphere for the foreseen intensified set.
Kicking off the evening at 9:30, Sylvan Esso stormed the stage with fierce enthusiasm, provoking the crowd to erupt in sheer applause and cheer — the good ‘ol fashioned Columbus welcome. Within moments, the two-piece began their set with tracks, “Could I Be,” “Wolf” and “Dress,” Amelia moving like a robotic wave, from each corner of the stage. Dressed in a white mesh jersey, Amelia was free-forming and uninhibited, allowing each beat to ripple through her entire body. The band’s energy set the precedent for the entire show, encouraging everybody to move as abstractly as they liked. As Amelia cooed her vocals effortlessly, Nick fixated on his synth, throwing his body up and down as he grooved with Amelia and their creation. With great excitement, Sylvan Esso played both “Hey Mami” and “Coffee” in the center of their set, keeping the energy levels exceedingly high with these familiar tracks.
In comparison to the album recordings, the live representation of each track was greatly enhanced, providing that minute missing piece the record was lacking. The heavy, textured synth created a 3D listening experience for the audience — allowing the music to become a tactile experience. Amelia’s voice is effortlessly exquisite, her voice and body conspiring as one cohesive art piece. The energy continued to excel throughout the performance, hundreds of bodies dancing collectively, turning the Newport Music Hall into a dew-y, humid environment. With smiles and hands raised high, Columbus did not leave the venue with a sliver of disappointment. Sylvan Esso has only begun to experiment with their collaborative sounds, leaving Columbus in adoration for the duo.
For more information, visit www.sylvanesso.com.
For more upcoming live music events in Columbus, CLICK HERE to visit our Events Calendar.