I have something to confess: despite listening to their music for weeks in anticipation of their two shows this week at Brooklyn Steel, I did not know indie pop band Oh Wonder
was British. When frontwoman Josephine Vander Gucht paused after their third song on their Tuesday night show to exclaim how wonderful New York was and how excited she was to play, I was caught off guard.
The band, who is on a tour of North America following the release of their second album, Ultralife
, was preceded by a set by singer-songwriter Jaymes Young
(an interview with whom you can read here
). Though Young explained that basically everyone on the tour bus was getting sick, you never would have guessed it by his soulful performance, during which he played hits "I‘ll Be Good" and "Stoned On You".
And if Oh Wonder was feeling under the weather, then their totally-healthy performances must be an absolute madhouse. They entered the stage in total darkness, lighting the venue up with an enormous light display spelling "OW" behind them as they played their first notes.
The packed ballroom floor loved it. Vander Gucht left her post at her keyboard to dance over to the edge of the stage and reach out to her fans, who howled their enthusiasm. In their second number, guitarist Anthony West hopped around the stage, shredding in front of the giant "OW" dramatically.
By the third song, Vander Gucht was wailing on the keyboard so hard she was kicking her legs backwards, as if to help get the notes out of her system. And Vander Gucht and West, who released their first album together in 2014, have undeniable chemistry onstage. They spent much of the third song grinning at each other, clearly excited to be playing, and playing well, to such an enormous, lively crowd.
The band played a few tracks from their self-titled 2014 album, including "Dazzle", "Technicolor Beat", and "Sharks", but also gave the crowd recent "Without You" and "Lose It" from Ultralife
, carrying their enormous energy throughout the show.
If you're on the fence about going to see Oh Wonder at their upcoming stops in Pennsylvania, D.C., or Tennessee, consider this a hearty endorsement. Bringing chemistry and chaos to their stage, Oh Wonder is not to be missed.
Now Watch Our Conversation With The Band: