Sylvan Esso Review 4/24
Written by Rhiannon and Emma on April 25, 2015
On Friday, April 24th, a mass of flowery indie kids all joined together to celebrate the dance-pop duo, Sylvan Esso. Their sold-out show at the Crystal Ballroom was the second to last of their tour supporting their self-titled album that was released last May. The duo, Amelia Meath (vocals) of Mountain Man and Nick Sanborn (production) aka Made in Oak, were just coming off their run at Coachella, giving a bittersweet show at which Sanborn’s family was in attendance.
They opened with the loopy “Could I Be”, immediately inspiring the audience to dance along with them. Their sparkly hit “Coffee” came early in the set. Meath’s call to “Get up, get down” was well received, as it is impossible to ignore their invitation to move, especially with Meath’s example. Her dancing stole the show as her “IDGAF” mentality translated itself into movement in incredible platform sneakers, though Sanborn’s bouncing was almost as bewitching. After “Coffee” they played a unique cover of Feist’s “Sea Lion Woman” that impeccably blended the beauty of the song with their flawless production. Another highlight was a so-far untitled new song that fit in with the rest of their material but had even more spirit behind it. The new tune is hopefully a hint at how their new record will sound and give the masses a whole new set of songs to dance to.
Just over halfway through the set, Meath asked everyone to pull out their phones, posed for a picture and encouraged the audience to enjoy the rest of the set without the need to take photos. She’s right, it is hard to wiggle around to their beats with a device in your hand. “Hey Mami” and “H.S.K.T” were also major dance tunes as their catchy beats translated into the bodies of the listeners. Their main set fittingly ended with “Play It Right”, the song that brought them together.
The only disappointments of the set were the lack of lighting on the duo, making it hard to see Meath’s choreography and wild twisting and rolling, though their backing lighting set up was quite lovely, and the slight let-down of the encore. After a set full of jumping and waving, the audience was ready for another dance but though the song “Come Down”, though beautiful, would have fit better embedded in the main set. This discontent was reconciled by the audience-wide dance party that broke out immediately after the set to Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own”.
Sylvan Esso’s set was a pure dancer’s delight. The catchy rhythms made it impossible not to jump around and join in with the musicians’ visible joy. Their show was the prime outlet for all the movement that gets trapped inside us on a daily basis and was perfectly cathartic. I sincerely hope everyone gets the opportunity to dance occasionally like Sylvan Esso inspired us to.