Sylvan Esso stunned a sold-out audience last Monday at The Blue Note

Alongside its musical talent and unique pop sound, the duo has incredible stage presence that engaged the whole room.

By Jane Mather-Glass | Oct. 1, 2017

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The indie-pop duo Sylvan Esso dazzled its audience at The Blue Note last Monday during a sold-out show with bright lights, pounding bass and killer dance moves.

Sylvan Esso is made up of singer Amelia Meath and producer Nick Sanborn. The North Carolina duo released its first self-titled album in 2014. Sylvan Esso’s sophomore album, What Now, came out in April. Of the 20 songs in their discography, they played 17 at the show, which made for a well-rounded performance.

Some of Sylvan Esso’s biggest hits, including “Coffee,” “Hey Mami,” “Radio” and “H.S.K.T.” got the crowd dancing alongside Meath and Sanborn. These high-energy hits contrasted with more mellow songs like “Rewind” and “Uncatena.” Even during the slower songs, the audience just as passionately sang along.

While the stage wasn’t huge and the set was relatively simple, the show never had a dull moment. Meath and Sanborn’s interactions were cheerful, comfortable and fun to witness. Meath’s voice was especially strong when heard live and Sanborn’s beats were engaging and powerful. Meath even gave the audience a taste of her incredible dance moves during the instrumental break of “H.S.K.T.”

When the two performed live, it was abundantly clear how passionate they both are about their music. When this type of genuine passion and excitement comes through, it’s shared with the audience as well, which made for a fantastic evening.

“The Glow,” one of the songs from What Now, was a highlight of the show.

“I wrote this song about all the people I had crushes on in high school, and since the record came out they’ve all come crawling out of the woodwork,” Meath said. “So start a band, and you get to hang out with cool people from high school.”

It’s with these intimate details that Meath comes from a place of authenticity. This was apparent in the duo’s live rendition of “Uncatena.” It displayed Meath’s impressive voice as she belted out the bridge and the last lines, “All I want from you’s a letter and to be your distant lover, that is all that I can offer at this time.” In this song and in so many others, the authenticity is so strong that it’s impossible to fabricate.

The first song of the show’s encore was “Rewind.” Meath has previously mentioned the song’s message of learning about life through TV to understand how people communicate and move. The duo ended with “Play it Right,” which was lively and loud –– the perfect way to end the show.

The show was intimate, fun and something different from Columbia’s music scene. If Sylvan Esso is ever back in town, and you’re looking for an evening that’s outstandingly fun, don’t miss out on the chance to go.

Edited by Brooke Collier | bcollier@themaneater.com

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