11/14/2015 – House of Blues

Odesza are on many people’s radar right now, and if they aren’t on yours, they should be.

The Seattle-based electronic duo have been featured in Rolling Stone and Pitchfork, and are currently embarking on a massive tour to promote their new album “In Return,” playing several sold-out shows across the country and in Europe. Boston was lucky enough to host them for a sold-out show at House of Blues, and band members Harrison Mills (Catacombkid) and Clayton Night (BeachesBeaches) did not disappoint.

Similar to future-bass artists like Flume and Stwo, Odesza have achieved the fine equilibrium between electronic production and traditional instrumentation, incorporating several live instruments into their complex records. Their performance featured live instrumentalists on stage while Mills and Night conducted, smashed their drums and triggered loops and riffs on their controllers.

From the photo pit to the mosh pit, every single person was dancing. House of Blues has a capacity over 2,000, so the sight of 2,000 bodies synchronously jumping up and down was spectacular. It takes a ton of talent, high-quality music, and a killer stage presence to keep everyone in a venue moving. One would think that the high-energy tunes ripping through massive speakers and causing people to dance non-stop would cause fatigue, yet there was none. This was everyone’s chance to see Odesza, and they capitalized on it.

Odesza’s strength is their strong emphasis on melody and harmony, a testimony to their creativity and appreciation for music outside of the electronic genre. Their musical arsenal features everything from deep bass to complex percussion to soaring saw synths to beautiful violins, as heard in their song “White Lies“. They made their performance a dynamic experience, far from just bass, bass, bass. As a person in the venue was heard saying, you could definitely “vibe to this.”

It takes several variables syncing to make a good show, and Odesza achieved that beautifully. The attitude of the crowd is just as important as the music and the visuals. Every time Night smashed his drum, white strobes flashed and briefly illuminated the entire venue, mixing with LED lights flashing in sync, creating a supernova of colors and light.

After the end of their set, Mills and Night thanked the crowd, complimenting them on their energy and love for the band’s music. Night threw his drumsticks into the crowd, and several people scrambled to grab them like a pride of lions chasing a bone. As the band left the stage, the familiar chant of “one more song!” resonated through the music hall, and the stubborn crowd refused to leave the venue, even as the lights flickered on. It took several security guards yelling to get the crowd to finally disperse. And slowly they trickled out of the venue, disappointed that the show was already over.

A young women lingered alone inside the venue, leaning on the bar with her eyes closed, gently moving her head back in forth with her eyes closed. Her lips were mouthing some words and she was tapping her foot. A guard came over and gestured towards the door, telling her that she had to leave. She furrowed her eyebrows in disapproval and looked him up and down before she started to zip up her coat and head towards the exit.

As she left, she softly song “Say My Name,” one of Odesza’s most popular songs. After a performance like that, just about everyone was doing the same.

Seattle's Treasure: Odesza
Pros
  • Live performance with backing instruments
  • Lots of energy on stage
Cons
  • 30 minute late start to the set
8.5Overall Score

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