Sylvan Esso Eclipse – Live at Lagunitas

Review and Photography by Megan T.
August 21, 2017

Coffee. What Now. If you don’t know Sylvan Esso get out from under your audio rock and listen up! Cause does this duo have some funky smooth music for you. It’s the kind with sharp, oddball vocals that are more instruments in it of themselves than narrative devices. Think feminine Alt-J but less obscured and more danceable. Born from the track ‘Play it Right’, these musicians found complement in each other and released their debut self-titled album in 2014. You might be familiar with tracks like ‘Hey Mami’ and ‘Dress’, two of my favorites for their rambunctious lullaby style. Then, after a string of singles to keep us enticed, the sophomore album ‘What Now’ unveiled itself in April. So when they announced plans to swing through the Bay Area, I was giddy to choose between a show at the Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma or the Fox Theater in Oakland. One was intimate, laid back and noncompetitive, so I found myself tasting new brews and soaking up delicious music.

Sylvan Esso

Their set pierced the audience with movement and smiles. ‘Dress’ made ladies in pink foil skirts stand up to jam and sway. ‘Coffee’ prompted pairs of bros to serenade each other and trade of piggy back positions. ‘Distant Lover’ calmed us with sun orange discs of light illuminating Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn, while Meath fluttered around the stage, grinning wildly and dancing with her elbows and wrists. Coming full circle, in honor of the total eclipse that occurred that Monday morning, they performed ‘Play it Right’ for their encore, and distributed anecdotally accurate show posters to the crowd. Five stars, would see again.

One final note, the opening artist, going by the name Flock of Dimes was a charming redhead with a vibrantly patterned guitar and a down-to-earth approach. From ballads to head bopping tunes, Jenn Wasner gives a personal touch to music making, a solo artist who shared with us tracks like ‘Semifore’ off her album ‘If You See Me, Say Yes’. In her own words, it was “the coolest show you could play at 6:15 on a Monday”.


Categories: Live Music

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