Odesza @ Urban Lounge 10.19 with Ambassadeurs, Hayden James

Posted October 23, 2014 in
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Odesza took Urban Lounge through an astrological journey. Photo: Brinley Froelich

Another evening of Odesza in the same year counts as a double “fuck yes” from me! After their show in Salt Lake last time, you could say I was just slightly excited to see them again to shake my ass and really let loose (albeit at a sold-out show this can, at times, be difficult). With a solid run of sold-out shows on their North American tour, it should be easy to catch on to the hype: The duo of Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight have seriously mastered the craft of creating hooks and beats that are emotionally captivating, instead of just throwing out the same formulaic house beats that other electronic artists can become prone to. In addition, their visuals during live sets far surpass a simplistic geometric design, and venture into realms of mind-expanding wonder. If you weren’t tripping on drugs that night, you were definitely tripping on their visuals as the music interacted with the lights.

But before we get into Odesza’s set, let’s talk for a second about the two openers. Ambassadeurs hails from Brighton, UK, and kicked off the evening with some excellent bass to get the crowd warmed up with gentle chill waves. Despite a ton of enthusiasm from the slowly trickling-in crowd, his bass was so potent that even in the back row I could feel it in my chest and drop it low, and his marimba-type percussion during his mixing gave off some summery beach vibes to lighten the mood. Afterward, Hayden James laid out some old-school funk mixed with electronic beats to create what he’s dubbed “future classics.” James also managed to maintain the gentle chill waves throughout his set, while attendees waited for libations to settle in before Odesza’s set.
Odesza introduced their set with “Bloom” from their freshest release, In Return, setting the tone for the night: A slower, dreamy beginning builds up the anticipation as it suddenly leads its way into an intense drumming, piloted by Mills, to add a raw element to the soundwaves. As the duo guided us through their astrological journey of moving beats, it was almost impossible to stay still. Even if I had tried, the crowd would have been moving me along with them as we all piled in toward the stage. Their mix covered the basics as far as their hits go, with “My Friends Never Die” and “How Did I Get Here” being performed with a ton of enthusiasm from the crowd, but it was sweet to hear some new songs in the works that aren’t on the roster of either of their LPs.
I was already impressed with their visuals from their set in March, but they really stepped up their game this time around. When I wasn’t getting lost in the music, the ambience of the pinks, blues, purples and oranges led me through abstracted nature settings and guided me through portals of time and space, while the glowing logo from “In Return” kept things grounded and acted as a stabilizer.
As the duo took the stage for an encore, part two of their set kicked into full gear with the performance of “Say My Name,” one of the hits from In Return (and remixed by several EDM freaks, the openers included) to keep the crowd rolling. It can be hard to top an already good show, but Odesza is one band that I will keep returning to as often as possible for a guaranteed dance party. Cheers!
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