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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Thursday, September 28, 2023
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Sylvan Esso shocks fans at the Sylvee

Lido Pimienta was an ethereal opener for an ethereal night. The Colombian-Canadian singer shocked the crowd when she entered the stage in an immaculate rainbow and metallic flowy dress that glowed against the stage lights. She further shocked the crowd when she opened her mouth and out tumbled her beautiful, almost angelic voice. 

Pimienta’s music is influenced by indigenous and Afro-Colombian styles, and she combines these influences with electronic beats to create music like nothing I have ever heard before. Her synthpop songs not only sound surreal, but many of them also address the flaws of our failing society. As a queer woman of color, many of Lido Pimienta’s songs reminisce upon her experiences in a misogynistic and racist world. 

Depending on the song she was singing, Lido Pimienta’s angelic voice rang forth with notes of self-assurance, anger, love or whatever other emotion the singer was feeling. It was extremely easy to decipher her emotions because of how expressive she was. For the audience members that did not speak Spanish, Pimienta punctuated her songs with some translations, and also offered explanations of some of her songs before beginning them. Pimienta was one of the most talented live singers I have seen, and I highly recommend listening to her music. It is an insane experience, and your ears will thank you.  

Following Lido Pimienta’s otherworldly performance, Sylvan Esso took the stage. The electronic indie-pop duo includes Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn, who are both from Durham, North Carolina. Amelia’s outfit, like every other part of the night, was perfect. She looked like a complete badass. She donned a bright yellow bra top and bottoms, with an intricate black netted shirt and pants over them. This outfit choice gave her an almost futuristic, surreal look, which complemented the band's electropop songs perfectly.

Behind Meath, stage lights oscillated to the beat of the songs and changed color throughout the night, creating a breathtaking backdrop that complimented Sylvan Esso’s songs perfectly. The light show elevated an already perfect night, probing the audience to dance and move along with Meath. Everyone felt connected. While Amelia sang and danced around, Nick manned the keyboard, providing the beats for the night. He also had fantastic energy, bopping along with Amelia to every song. Their energy was irresistible.

Amelia Meath danced her heart out all night long, and the crowd danced right along with her. Her upbeat songs like “Radio” and “PARAD(w/m)E” had the audience dancing along and pumping their fists to the beats Sanborn was producing. Her slower songs like “What If” and “Die Young” had the audience swaying, singing softly and absorbing the beautiful lyrics Sylvan Esso offered up. I would not have spent my Friday night anywhere else.

Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn’s band name, “Sylvan Esso,” was inspired by a character from a game they both love called Sword and Sorcery. The duo not only creates stellar music together, they also happen to be married! This is something I did not know before the night, and it only made the love songs Meath was singing even more lovely. The two met in 2013, and the rest is history. 

They’ve released three albums and a variety of singles together, all incomparably amazing. If you have not listened to Sylvan Esso, I’d highly recommend you check them out. Some of my favorite songs are “Radio”, “Die Young”, “Ferris Wheel” and “Rooftop Dancing,” but you cannot go wrong giving any of them a listen. Enjoy! 

Grade: A+

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