I have an internet friend that always cites Sylvan Esso among their favorite live acts, and since I am only somewhat familiar with them and had never seen them live, I figured now was as good a time as any to check them out.
So I headed to The Anthem last Friday with an open mind, hoping to be wowed. I didn’t quite get there, but I did like the show and it was easy to see why the band is so popular. Their glitchy, frenetic electro-pop had heads bobbing and their catchy hooks produced multiple audience singalongs along all night.
At The Anthem on August 11, the “show” aspect of the live performance fell mostly to singer Amelia Meath, who commanded the stage as the center of attention, dancing and swaying to and fro while producer Nick Sanborn held it down toward the back of the stage. It was a tall task to ask one person to generate the on-stage energy for a venue as cavernous as The Anthem, but Meath was more than up to the task. The duo had a minimal, but effective, lighting set-up, staying mostly backlit and using bright pops of accented color during the choruses and hooks.
The set was a good mixture from the band’s career, with 20 songs split evenly between the band’s four albums, save for a cover of Califone’s “Funeral Singers” which left 2017’s What Now with only four songs.
Watch an official lyric video for “Make It Easy,” the song that capped the encore, by Sylvan Esso on YouTube:
Kick Jump Twist
How Did You Know
Funeral Singers (Califone cover)
Make It Easy
Here are some photos of Sylvan Esso performing at The Anthem on August 11, 2023. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Kyle Gustafson.