Feeling Nostalgic and Dancing the Night Away: Sylvan Esso at Brooklyn Steel
  • FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017

  • Posted by: Sabrina Moffly

Last time I went to a concert alone someone tried to spit in my beer, but this time was different because I had a photo pass and I cleverly avoided spit beer by drinking a PBR in a can. After all, this was a Sylvan Esso concert in Brooklyn, so one must do as the hipsters do in order to blend in. The pre-show conversations I politely eavesdropped on were hilarious and ranged from "[Slyvan Esso's] first album had a sound but now they HAVE a sound" to "Im just trying to get over the fact he left me and moved to Austin by doing the most fun 'Brooklyn' things." Fun part of going to concerts alone is other people are hilarious when they think no one is listening. The opening act was Lucy Dacus, who is had an indie-rock quality similar to Angel Olsen rather than the electro-pop of Sylvan Esso. Midway through the set she mentioned that she donates to local charities wherever she is on tour, which for their two nights in Brooklyn was the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. The mission statement of this charity is "to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence." You can learn more and donate here. One of Dacus' best songs was "I Don't Want To Be Funny Anymore," which pretty much felt like my awkward middle school years and angst bundled into a song.
In between my glorious moments in the photo pit, someone came up to me and tried to ask if I've had any good vegan food lately. Guess that's the new cool pick up line? Anyways, I am a carnivore so I did not dignify that with a response. So Mr. Vegan dude moved on and hit on another photo pass toting lady with the same opening line and she responded. Going to take credit for that one and tell you all that I created a love connection at the Sylvan Esso concert. Sylvan Esso started off their show with a crazy light show and some new tracks from their second album What Now. The lead singer of the duo from North Carolina, Amelia Meath, was wearing the tallest platforms I have seen since the Spice World movie came out in 1997. She romped and danced around in those shoes the whole concert; I bow down to her for her dance moves and shoe choice. Her counterpart, Nick Sanborn, was slightly more subdued in the dancing area but he was more involved with mixing the music on stage, which you apparently can't do without having a very intense facial expression.
The light show was amazing - it almost made me feel like I was a part of the show. The place was packed since they sold out their show in 45 minutes thus having to add a second show. One thing I noticed about the audience was the seemingly incessant chatter. I've been to many different concerts but never have I been part of a crowd that could not get out of their own way to just stop and enjoy. Some girls standing next to me actually shushed another group of concert goers. No shushing should be necessary at a pop concert, right? The only time the chatter subsided was when Meath called out her dad who was in the audience. The crowd was into it when the played their older songs like "H.S.K.T." and "Hey Mami," which Meath wrote when living in Brooklyn, hence why any woman who has lived in NYC relates to that song. What Now songs like "Die Young" and "Radio" elicited much dancing and singing from the audience. Slyvan Esso's lyrics are occasionally humorous and dry which is evident when Meath talks between songs. She prefaced "Slack Jaw" with something along the lines of "this is a song I wrote about how Disney taught me how to be a woman. It's real guys." Or when they admitted to not really practicing "Kick Jump Twist" before performing it. Sylvan Esso's music holds a special place in my heart because I first discovered their music with my college roommates our senior year. We would constantly play "Hey Mami" and "Play It Right" while driving around LA. I cannot tell you how many times I've teared up while listening to "Coffee." Their music is fun and witty and Meath and Sanborn do not disappoint live. But to the crowd at Brooklyn Steel: do better. Granted, conversations are great and I enjoyed eavesdropping but leave them for the pre-show. Musicians put their heart and souls into performances so jam out with them and stop chatting. The point of going to a concert is to listen to music and escape the daily routine. Concerts are meant for being absorbed by sounds and stories. So next time you go to a concert think of my new motto, Less Talking, More Dancing like Amelia Meath. See more photos from the show HERE.
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