A Friday night in the heart of Hollywood is always tumultuous with young and old alike looking to blow off some steam after a long workweek. This night was no exception, and the city drew in even more by having one of the quaintest venues host the rising stars of the indie electronic world: Sylvan Esso. Previously booked for the Wiltern, another classic and equally beloved venue just across town, the duo had such a strong demand from their Los Angeles fan base that they decided to switch venues in order to accommodate everyone. After this news broke, it was no surprise that the show was sold out by the time Friday night rolled around. While you don’t hear the name thrown around on the radio or in mixed company often, Sylvan Esso has a loyal and strong fan base, most of which have been fans since their very first album when they were playing the afternoon timeslot at Coachella back in 2015. Now with the release of their second album this April, the duo has reached a new peak in their popularity and fandom.
With the Hollywood Palladium filling up quickly, Flock of Dimes, also known as Jenn Wasner, opened the night with great enthusiasm and proved to have the raw talent and personality to entertain a room of more than 3,000 on her own. This was not her first rodeo though; previously she has opened for such artists as The National and The Decemberists. Her loud indie rock electronic sound was the perfect compliment to Sylvan Esso’s more whimsical approach to the genre. She stayed relatable to the audience throughout the set, and even revealed to all that she had accidentally spilled her wine spritzer on her guitar pedals, and asked anyone near could throw her a towel. Her quirkiness and defiant musical expression makes her a solo artist worth keeping an eye on in the years to come.
Sylvan Esso graced the stage soon after, opening with their second album starter “The Sound.” Nick Sanborn, the producer behind the duo, opened the show solo creating the soundscape. In the smoke and dark, he laid the electronic foundation for Amelia Meath to enter and sing her clear and pristine vocal lines. She entered the stage and soon kicked the party off in full force with old and new songs alike. The specially made metal set gave Sylvan Esso the ability to enhance their melodically simple songs with beautiful light shows correspondent to the details of each song. The duo also added new layers to their songs, vocally and electronically, that gave their songs new dimensions and long time fans something they have never heard before. In the middle of the set, Meath led the crowd in her favorite concert activity: howling to the moon right into their song “Wolf.” Their music has always brought to the forefront the rawness of human experience, and their interactions with the audience brought a new dimension to the concert experience one is not able to appreciate at every show, making for an especially great evening. They ended the evening with the favorites such as “Radio” and “Play It Right,” leaving everyone happy and dancing until the end.
Check them out on tour next in Phoenix, Arizona on August 27th. They continue to tour until March of next year, so find the nearest city to you to experience a truly amazing performance.
Photos by: Sarah Woods