The dance floor was filled with sweat and synth-pop when US duo Sylvan Esso took the stage at Oxford Art Factory. After a few days of break from Laneway performances, the pair was energised and ready to bust moves with a Sydney crowd once again.
The pair from North Carolina had extensive hype and an eager crowd to match – impressive considering this was Sylvan Esso’s first trip down under. Lead singer Amelia Meath filled up the small stage with her exuberant dance moves and smooth vocals, while Nick Sanborn mixed tracks together, hunched over and bouncing along with moves similar to a jellyfish. The disruptive yet energetic pop beats compelled everyone to move along.
Opening with songs like “Play it Right”, “Could I Be”, and “Dress”, the audience came alive to these familiar hits and the dance party erupted. Hands were thrust into the air and bodies swayed along fervently to the flowing changes of the beat, from song to song.
Although the setup was quite basic – Meath simply clinging to a handheld microphone the whole performance – the room’s energy was reciprocal of that of a full-fledged production, as Sylvan Esso delivered an authentic vibe.
They continued on to play songs like “Die Young” and “Coffee” from their 2017 release, ‘What Now’. Audience participation was strong and Meath played along, giving the crowd an opportunity to harmonise with her during “Hey Mami”. The crowd stayed lively for their newest hit single, “PARAD(w/m)E” – chanting and dancing the group through to their last final songs.
Ending with a sweat-filled encore, Meath used every ounce of movement she had left and raptured the audience up until the final line was sung. The catchy lyrics and unique glitch-like beats repeated in the audiences’ heads as they trickled out of the venue; heads still bobbing to the memorable songs of the evening.
Photos by Keegan Thomas.