Odesza are back with a forceful revenge that will likely see them continue to grow in popularity.
After a three-year touring hiatus, the Seattle-based electronic duo of Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills have embarked on a tour on the back of their new album, The last farewell. With a live show that will animate the legs of the most jaded cynical, their return in a new arena tour is not to be missed.
Their first show of the tour, at Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena, featured Ford’s openers. and Sylvan Esso, and an eclectic, enthusiastic crowd ready to go crazy and tail-dancing if given the expected provocation – and the provocation provided by Odesza.
For the uninitiated, a spectacle of Odesza is a feast for the senses, an opportunity for ecstatic surrender of the logical or self-aware self to an intense barrage of light, sound and movement. Odesza’s electronica covers a wide range of influences and incorporates many live instruments and singers, as well as a mix of older samples and singers. The music and live show is all about the beat, built around the Odesza drum line, which provides a pulsating and visually engaging backbone to the show.
Knight and Mills were clearly thrilled to be back and in front of huge audiences; the two began the show standing behind their samplers and drums, arms raised triumphantly, smiles spread across their faces as the audience was treated to the quiet sonic cover of “This Version of You”. Then began the sensory barrage, with the band launching into “Behind the Sun,” the bright and beautiful track featuring excerpts from Simin Ghanem’s “I Want That Blue Sky.” The screens behind and to either side of the stage lit up with the song’s newly released video, and moments after its opening bars the stage was full: the tightly choreographed drum line of eight drummers hit the stage, flames flew, and the audience erupted.
So the show went, with peaks and valleys of energy that had the crowd buzzing with excitement, dancing exuberantly one moment, then chilling the next. Odesza and the irrepressible drum line (and the occasional trumpet/trombone players and singers) blasted songs from across their catalog. The scene was a wave of visually captivating changes; the platforms Knight and Mills were standing on changed with the backdrop of the screen, with videos flashing all over and tied to the pulse of the music. An ever-changing array of special effects kept the viewer energized, with flames, fireworks, smoke and lasers punctuating heavy bass drops or dramatic silences. The drummers changed costumes and their drums, lit from within, changed colors to match the overall theme of a given song.
The show consisted of over 90 minutes of music, spread across 25 songs. In addition to drum line, live trumpet and trombone, the show included “Better Now” and “Higher Ground”, both featuring Naomi Wild, as well as “Wide Awake” featuring Charlie Houston. Additionally, they made some forays into their side project, Bronson, as well as playing a new song that seemed to dig into darker territory than their norm (complete with accompanying footage of a wolf and a strange humanoid-like apparition). a monster).
If the past two-plus years of pandemic life have done anything, they have reminded people of the amazing, fleeting emotional release made possible by live music. While this reviewer is more than thrilled when the pandemic truly recedes, the wait for the live broadcast from Odesza was more than worth the wait. They truly are at the top of the game, a fact evident in the sea of happy faces eagerly engulfed in Odesza’s sound journey.