Since the release of their sophomore album In Return, Odesza have been one of the most in demand electronic acts. Playing festivals of all types, their unique brand of electronic music has crossed over with sold out world tours over the past couple of years. They kept up the momentum with their new album A Moment Apart, one of our best of the year, which tabbed bigger features and showed a greater ambition by the Seattle duo. They took to a tour across North America this fall that included a final arena show in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center. With a slew of guests, a drum ensemble, a guitarist, trumpeter and trombonist, the pair showed the heights of their influence to an audience of nearly 12,000.
Chet Porter started the show at 7:15 with his mix of future bass, melodic electronic music and trap. Having posted the set times online, something that is generally helpful, it was clear who the audience was there to see. Things started to fill in a little more for Sofi Tukker, who both played guitars and sang, while Tukker would trigger drum sounds and synths on controllers in front of him. Then they would hit this suspended circular percussion instrument with animals on wooden blocks that would each make a different sound. The crowd bobbed along with them, but really got up when they did “Best Friend,” for which J Patt of The Knocks came out for and then “Drinkee.” In all they were great, but it felt like they could have used a drummer or somebody else to bring the percussion to life with so much else being done live.
Sofi Tukker left the stage around 9 and then a 45-minute wait ensued for Odesza. During this time, the crowd started to pack in as people negotiated the free-for-all dance to get seats together where you weren’t assigned a seat, but just the section. The changeover music was very good with a mix of Tame Impala and RÜFUS Du Sol, so that kept people somewhat occupied.
Odesza finally appeared around 9:45 to now a full arena and a roar of approval rose from the audience. Odesza's Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight hurried onto the stage and wasted no time getting right to it behind their electronic pads and drums. They were quickly joined by a trombonist, trumpeter, guitarist and most excitingly, the Odesza drumline, which has been incredibly popular on the tour.
The movements were well choreographed as lights, lasers, pyro and smoke all filled the arena with top-notch special effects to match selections from the duo’s past two albums. There was a youthful exuberance in the air as Odesza took their normally cheery and powerful performance to another level with the help of the live performers. The peak moments were when the drummers would come out, occasionally switching uniforms from black to white, showing off their synchronized movement, stick flipping and drumming. As someone who was in a drumline as a young kid for two years, these were drummers at their very best.
The duo knew they needed to make the most of the opportunity with a full arena egging them on and brought out a slew of guests including RY X for “Corners Of The Earth,” Naomi Wild on “Higher Ground” and Mansiononair for the soaring and instant classic, “Higher Ground” that felt like a peak of the set. Though it was only half-way through, the duo kept the energy high through an encore past 11 p.m.
The crowd will look back on this night with Odesza where they stomped along to the drums, threw their hands in the air to the soaring synths and stared in wonder at the massive production. The tour continues into 2018, but it felt like they did everything to leave it all out there for 2017.
If you don’t believe what I am saying, check out the photo gallery above to see just how big and badass the production was.
Words by Ryan Middleton
Photos by Charles Kang - Follow him on Instagram