Following up two shows in a row for me, I was in for a third with my Saturday night booked with Odesza at The Fonda. Hype has been building around this Seattle-based duo since they ignited the itty-bitty Echoplex last spring. That performance got my attention in a very real way – the sound was so fresh and creative. It filled a hole in the industry. I covered the show alone but I remember leaving soaked with sweat from dancing my heart out with ~500 of my new best friends. Upon returning home, I immediately made it my mission to spread my new found knowledge to friends far and wide.
Half a year later: Odesza is back and bigger than ever, and they easily brought their magic back to Los Angeles. In those months, they placed a remix on the über-hip Divergent soundtrack and they released In Return – which is easily one of the best electronic albums of the year, by the way. Albums like this give me hope for the future of indie-electronic. It’s groovy and dreamy but the technical excellence and innovation are borderline unparalleled.
The setting couldn’t have been more perfect. Situated in the pulsing heart of Hollywood, The Fonda has been home to some of the best shows I’ve seen during my time here in Los Angeles. The crowd was chomping at the bit as the lights went down. Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight took the stage behind a solid black pedestal. In front of them, their geometric logo glows along with the music. The duo is framed by a beautiful backdrop of projected photo and video content interplaying perfectly with the music. It’s truly a beauty to behold.
Immediately, they launch right into a blazing set of ethereal, soul-shaking brilliance. Seamlessly building acoustic dreamscapes into heavyweight bangers, Odesza has mastered a dynamic prowess all their own. They cruised through their three studio albums with finesse and poise. The pseudo-glitch hop track “My Friends Never Die” was softened with a musical edge conducive to some serious wiggling. The cinematic anthem “Above The Middle” absolutely soared—providing a welcome breath of fresh air. Their new songs brought the house down. “Say My Name” and “All We Need” (no doubt my favorite from the album) got the dance floor steamed up quite a bit.
Without a doubt, the best moment of the night came when the duo dropped their #flawless remix of ZHU’s “Faded”. Over the past year, this mysterious LA-based producer has fascinated and enticed electronic fans around the world. ZHU’s dark, sensual brand of house is equally as innovative as Odesza’s aesthetic and together? They are sublime. “Faded” is certainly one of the year’s biggest sensations and Odesza’s dreamy touch colors the hit in a new and exciting way. It’s a little bit more chilled-out. It’s more “Hey, I’m gonna dance with you and be flirty” where as the original is like “Hey, your place or mine let’s leave now”.
This was only the second stop on their In Return tour, so these guys have to be feeling pretty good right now. I’ve rarely seen a crowd in LA so unabashedly smitten. On stage, the duo emanates gratitude and excitement. Though they are still quite fresh, Odesza has grown so much in six months – from here on out, the sky is the limit. LA friends: If you missed this show, don’t worry. You’ll have a chance to see them at Day of The Dead later this fall! All of the other friends: If by some miracle the show in your area hasn’t sold out yet, grab tickets right meow. They’re growing like wildfire and you don’t want to miss your chance.