Sylvan Esso is a band that is very hard to lump into one genre. With songs that span from slower ballads to those that are fit for a nightclub, it is not difficult to understand how their show at The Howard Theatre (originally at the much smaller Rock & Roll Hotel) sold out long in advance. Sylvan Esso, a duo comprised of singer Amelia Meath of Mountain Man and Nick Sanborn of Megafaun, had the crowd dancing and singing along to every song during the final performance of their US tour.
Sylvan Esso opened the show with a standout track from their eponymous debut album, “Hey Mami.” Within the first few notes of the song, it was clear that this was not a show to stand still at. Blasting their music on through your laptop speakers is one thing, but when they’re performing live on an actual sound system, the experience is completely transformed. Between songs Sanborn even made a comment on how he’d never played in a club before; and it was so obvious that the band was thrilled to be playing, their infectious energy radiated throughout the crowd. Early into the set, Meath and Sanborn brought the energy even higher with “H.S.K.T.”, and it was difficult to find someone in the crowd who was not shaking their body along to the music. Immediately after this song, Sylvan Esso slowed it down a bit with “Wolf,” only to launch right back into the booming bass and kicks of their other songs. The show ended rather quickly, but the band came back on to play an encore of covers, one of which included “Play It Right” – a song off of their album, originally by Mountain Man.
Although the show was short (understandable, considering the band has only one album under their belt thus far) it was easily one of the most fun shows I’ve been to in a long while. Sylvan Esso is like nothing I’ve heard before, and I can only sit tight and wait until they release more music.