It was a packed house at Union Transfer for Sylvan Esso’s second consecutive sold out show in Philadelphia on Sunday night. Philly was one of the many sold out stops on SE’s What Now tour. Going into the show I was curious of the crowd that generated both shows selling out so quickly. This one was hard to read, but I can tell you it was an interesting mix. It ranged from your average hipster to a couple dressed in Native American costume. Face paint and all, while lying on the floor dancing. The electro-pop style of Sylvan Esso matched the vibe of the crowd which made for an interesting and truly awesome show.
To open was indie rock group Lucy Dacus. This group could have easily sold out the show themselves. Lucy Dacus herself was amazing on vocals. The lyrics held so much meaning which I think is hard to find in the songs we hear anymore. The crowd was still and quiet for each song they performed. You could see the complete admiration in each face as they listened. After the concert, I spent the rest of my night listening to them on Spotify. The group has been listed on the Rolling Stones “10 New Artists You Need to Know” and they totally deserve it. If you have never listened to them before, you need to check out their Tiny Desk Performance on NPR. Lucy Dacus, you kill it.
I love listening to the fans talk about the main act during the break. It gives you a feel of what to expect from the interaction between the performers and the crowd during the show. Two girls next to me were raving about Sylvan Esso saying, “This is about to be SO hype, I like need to prepare myself”. She definitely wasn’t wrong. First to take the stage was the producer of the duo, Nick Sanborn. He prepped the audience by messing with his soundboard which was positioned center stage. When Amelia Meath took the stage, the crowd went crazy. It wasn’t hard to tell that these fans idolize her. She could have had her own solo performance with her dance moves and gestures. Meath’s dancing made the show something to watch and not only listen to. She felt the music and the crowd absolutely LOVED it.
The duo played some songs from their first album, such as the bubbly “Hey Mami” along with one of their more popular songs, “Coffee”. SE slowed it down with one of their newer songs “Slack Jaw” from their What Now album. The song contrasted the pop vibe from the beginning of the night. This was easily one of my favorite parts of their set. The performance was full of so much emotion and it was felt by everyone throughout the room. I gained a lot of admiration for both Sylvan Esso and Lucy Dacus on Sunday night. I would definitely recommend a listen to anyone who has not before. Both groups have their own unique styles that can make them stand out in the industry. Now, only time will tell where that brings them.