Sylvan Esso - Lollapalooza - Thalia Hall

Some bands make you want to dance. Some bands make you want to sing. Sylvan Esso makes you want to be your best self.

On Friday, Aug. 4, Thalia Hall was infused with an overwhelming sense of joy and possibility when Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn took the stage to perform at Sylvan Esso’s sold-out Lollapalooza aftershow.

“We drove all night from North Carolina to be here, Chicago,” Meath revealed. Fans thanked the duo with deafening cheers of gratitude.

Sylvan Esso inspired the crowd to be their best music-loving selves

The dance party was in full effect from the moment Sanborn’s compelling, analog synth sounds – manipulated to the perfect degree – revealed the irresistible opening bass line of “Dreamy Bruises.” A silhouetted Meath propelled perpetual movement while singing, “Let your limbs flare in the mood / Like you’re a wild thing doing right,” as the striking light display flickered along with every beat. “Kick Jump Twist” came in like a cool breeze before the pulsing 8-bit sounds of the chorus sent the crowd into a unanimous groove.

“Die Young,” with its hypnotic rhythm and tranquil melody, provoked one of many sing-alongs as Meath waxed poetic on ruined plans and unexpected love. The infectious swagger of “Coffee” devoured everyone in attendance while driving an unstoppable chorus of voices to repeat “My baby does the hanky panky” across the venue, from the balcony to the stage and everywhere in between.

Resistance to Sylvan Esso’s infectious delight was futile

Even if you weren’t planning on singing and dancing the night away, resistance proved to be futile. Meath’s joyous and inspiring aura set a mood where egos simply melted away until fans found themselves engulfed in a communal moment of pure delight. She felt the music from the tips of her fingers to her platformed feet effortlessly gliding across the stage and singing with unbridled soul.

Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso, bringer of joy and possiblity

The Lollapalooza aftershow marks the first date on a month-long tour with Flock of Dimes, the musical brainchild of multi-instrumentalist, Jenn Wasner, who served as the show’s opener. Meath’s description of their tour-mate as a “wizard” concisely summed up Wasner’s awe-inspiring talents as she expertly played every instrument on her captivating 2016 album, “If You See Me, Say Yes.” When performed live, songs including “The Joke” and “Ida Glow” felt all the more profound, but it was Wasner’s sweeping rendition of “No More I Love You’s” – which Annie Lenox made famous in 1995 – that was the star of her set.

Multi-instrumentalist Jenn Wasner of Flock of Dimes showed why she’s a musical ‘wizard’

With two fantastic albums under their belt – and the coveted position of performing before Mac DeMarco at Lollapalooza 2017 – Sylvan Esso seems poised to reach headliner status the next time they return to Grant Park. Head over to www.sylvanesso.com to stay up-to-date with the duos busy tour schedule.

Laurie Fanelli

Laurie Fanelli is a Chicago-based writer and photographer who specializes in live entertainment coverage. She is at home at major music festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo and, of course, Lollapalooza and...