Odesza live at McDonald Theatre [4.7.15]


Words by Bryan Kalbrosky • Photos by Brinkley Capriola

Much like the music itself, memories from the Odesza concert at McDonald Theatre on Tuesday are perfectly fragmented into pieces of an unforgettable night.

Together, the experience and the music blend into a colorful quilt in my mind. For those who dig a good electronic music show, this was either an incredible sample size or introduction to the scene. Here’s what made this particular concert so special: you didn’t need to know every single song to have an incredible time, so long as you were dancing and grooving along. The crowd had a humming noise of enthusiasm and approval all night, and the light show was the single best I’d seen in Eugene.

From the moment the first song dropped, the dance floor was raging with a unique brand of happiness. That’s because Odesza, an electronic music duo from Seattle, displayed such an incredible musicianship on stage.

Not only was the night dominated by two incredible producers on stage, but Seattle frontmen Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight were also supported by a multi-instrumental sensation. This included two floor tom drum kits and a light crash cymbal, as well as a horns section, which even had a trombone. Occasionally, two different singers graced the stage as well. Dan Vidmar, the singer from Shy Girls, was belting it and kept energy high on stage.

In addition to a dominant light show and bright lasers that kept the crowd on their toes, the A/V projector displayed erratic scenes including: a gorgeous desert, molecular designs, old black and white horror films, countless Chinese fire lanterns and brilliant cityscapes. The crowd reacted with friendly dance circles, and most seemed content whether or not they were clapping in rhythm and/or dancing with a partner.

Odesza, like similar electronica and chill-wave projects including Chet Faker and Glass Animals, is a band known for their listen-ability. Perhaps my highlight of the evening (and the morning after recap) was when the duo played “IPlayYouListen” from debut album Summer’s Gone (2012). This song, which samples “Airplanes” by indie rock band Local Natives, shows the impressive cross-genre nature of a talented producer.

Of course, at a show like this one you often start to wonder about the drug culture of Eugene when you see some of the attitudes and outfits rocked by much of the crowd.

There were the typical “raver” gloves in the crowd; don’t mind those, they’re just a distraction from a good show on stage. I would, however, like to sincerely thank the wonderful individual who not only briefly lent me their 3D refraction glasses, but also instructed me where I could purchase a pair of my own.

By the time the night was nearing an end, Odesza rewarded the crowd with their biggest treat of the night:

While the show began with a brief hint at the beat from hit single “Say My Name,” which also seemed to appear briefly later in the show, the encore included a full-blown rendition of this track far more incredible than anything on the recording. Guest vocalist Zyra from “Say My Name” was an absolute favorite of the crowd. She was a brilliant addition to an already incredible evening.

Perhaps my favorite Tuesday in recent memory ended with the venue PA system blasting my new favorite soul singer: Leon Bridges.