From the moment the first few computerized notes came bleeping and buzzing out of Nick Sanborn’s music machine to start out “Kick Jump Twist,” the duo known as Sylvan Esso had Brooklyn Steel’s undivided devotion to dance the night away. The electro-pop act from North Carolina were at the new Brooklyn venue for the second straight night on Friday. Just as the sold-out crowd expected, they turned the renovated building into their own warehouse dance party to help 1,800 fans start their weekend with a few kicks, jumps and twists of their own.
Made up of Sanborn and singer Amelia Meath, Sylvan Esso started their set with the chaotically melodic notes of “Sound,” the opening track from their new album, What Now. The new material was on display throughout their performance, and was nicely mixed in with favorites from their first album in “Coffee,” “Hey Mami” and “Play It Right.”
Female/male electro-pop acts are all the rage these days within the indie-pop realm. There are dozens of other duos trying their best to make fans dance with their singer meets synths mix, but few are doing it as well as Sylvan Esso. What’s their secret? Perhaps it’s Meath’s truly unique performance style, which feels somewhat personal and intimate when she pauses from her singing duties to mix fun with sexy while dancing in those big platform kicks of hers. You almost feel like you’ve been transported from a warehouse to a living room, dancing with a new best friend as Sanborn's computerized beeps engulf you.
Speaking of Nick Sanborn, his style of digitized notation was simply fun for the second straight evening. While adding his own energy and musical presence to counter with Meath’s more organic contribution, one has to appreciate how good he is at allowing noises from a computer take flight rather than just offer a standard buzz and hum. Together they’re a perfect PB&J blend of traditional singing over futuristic music. What else could a music fan ask for on a Friday night?