ODESZA - Concert Review

Photo Credit: Pitch Perfect Pr/Marybeth Coghill


ODESZA are on a meteoric rise that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. In September 2012 the duo released their debut album, Summer’s Gone, and followed it up with an EP, My Friends Never Die, in 2013. Then this past September they graced us with their second album In Return. Each release has built on top of the previous, expanding and evolving on already wonderful music. With catchy, up beat tracks as well as smooth, mellow ones, ODESZA found their sound right away, and ran with it. They supported some big names at first but now they headline their own tours.

This fall they have been on tour in support of In Return. So far every show has been sold out, even after some venue changes to accommodate for larger crowds. I had been itching to see these guys live since they came onto the scene and I finally got the chance. Last Wednesday they stopped in Ann Arbor and played at The Blind Pig. It was probably one of the smaller venues they’ll play at all tour long (approximately 400 people max), but that didn’t stop them one bit.

Opening with “IPlayYouListen” set the stage right off the bat; it was a diehard fan favorite played in a venue filled of diehard fans. Building off of an initial piano riff, the song seems to be an essential piece to ODESZA’s repertoire as it heads into a slow melodic build, and capitalizes with cresting waves that bob you around, sending chills down your spine every other beat.

As the show went on, all the fan favorites and more were played. “How Did I Get Here” provided us with more spine tingling vibes, their remix of Beat Connection’s “Saola” kept everyone smiling and dancing, and when “Sun Models” was performed, Ann Arbor’s own Madelyn Grant joined the duo on stage to dance and pump up the audience even more.

“My Friends Never Die” rounded out the set, but the crowd would barely let them leave the stage before dragging them back to close it out. The encore began with their remix of ZHU’s “Faded”, another wavy and entrancing track that drew everyone back in for one last song. And, as was probably predicted by everyone in the crowd, “Say My Name” ended the show for us all. The hit song from the recent album left nothing hanging in the air; everyone was as happy as they had been all night long, and grateful for what they had just witnessed.

For the entire performance there was electricity in the air. Everyone was jumping around and dancing the whole time, singing along any time they could. The joy felt throughout the room last Wednesday reflected the way ODESZA performs as well as the music they create. As they pieced the songs together on stage they connected with the crowd, and in a venue that small, the relationship could be felt throughout.

However, this connection represents something much larger than what we were witnessing in that moment. It represents a new movement in electronic music, and ODESZA are headlining it. The (relatively) newfound love for electronic music has been missing a link between the crowd and the artist for some time now. Sure, we enjoy the slow builds and heavy bass drops, but anyone can play that in any location; it’s nothing too special anymore. Imagine seeing Nirvana at the Blind Pig (yes they actually played there in 1990). I can already feel the connection that would be present; the mutual respect between the band and crowd would be tremendous. We’ve needed an electronic band to come along and really speak to us like that, through more than what is on the surface. By performing the way they do, ODESZA address the problem and fix it. They provide us with an emotion that has been absent for some time now at many electronic concerts. ODESZA is a must see in order to truly feel and understand what concert going should be like and hopefully give us a vision what it will become. 

By Ben Lowden

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