Minh and I are both huge Sylvan Esso fans. Their pandemic livestream, "With Love", was one of the best streaming performances I've ever seen. We cried. Their show at Disney Hall was one of the best sounding performances I've ever heard. I cried there too. This show at The Greek was more normal, and it was still amazing.
By "normal", I mean the kind of show you might expect at a large, outdoor venue, and the music you'd expect from Sylvan Esso. It was just the two of them, Amelia and Nick, compared to the previous shows with a band of close friends. Here, only vertical rows of coordinated lights back-lit a spare stage of Nick's electronics setup and Amelia's dancing. At one point Amelia sang from atop a riser above the lights, an effect that didn't seem worth interrupting Amelia's vibe with the logistics. The lights were artistically designed, using a full range of dynamics; from a single, pulsating light, to sweeping, multi-layer colors. They weren't anything we've never seen before but they were tasteful. The only part I found tiring were the blinders -- bright lights facing out into the audience. At one pointed I blinked in time with the 2/4 of the beat to avoid being dazzled.
The sound was good though I craved more bass. Minh and I both used Etymotic 15db earplugs and that helped. We were in Section B Row R... Next time I'd like to be closer to the center to see if the sound might be more enveloping. (I'll always be trying to get back to that Disney Hall show of theirs.)
The music included the songs you'd most expect. That's a good thing... Sylvan Esso has so many great songs!... but if I had any criticism, I'd say that like the lighting, the music felt "safe". Certain sections of songs and transitions were creatively embellished to good effect -- Minh and I both loved anything extra that Nick added with the electronics -- but otherwise I recognized everything. Back in 2019, the new songs for me were "Frequency" and "Make It Easy" and those were my favorite pieces tonight. I'm excited and happy to go with you wherever you go next, Sylvan Esso!
Los Angeles loves you!