It was exactly 7:30 p.m., and the Alliant Energy Center was almost empty. The ground level was only about one-fourth filled; the cement floor was sprinkled with bodies seated in little clusters while they waited for the show to begin. The lights dimmed as a young man came out to the main front set up of drums and an electronic audio mixer. The right side of the crowd stood up in reaction to the man’s arrival. He played small mixes with indiscernible lyrics, but his enthusiasm upon hitting the drum set him apart. Kasbo hit the drums with a fluid motion as if the vibration from contact dispersed throughout his whole body. He played his final song and graciously thanked the audience for letting him perform.
After moments of awkward pause, Sofi Tukker, took the stage by storm. The carefree and relaxed nature of the audience shifted into and upbeat dance party. Building momentum during the wait for Odesza, Sofi Tukker danced along with the crowd. At one point, the lead female singer jumped into the crowd, dancing as if she had no cares in the world. They were fun and engaging — even calling out the crowd of people still sitting on the floor. By the time they left the stage, everyone was ready for Odesza. A screen slowly slipped down, and the room went dark.
Images of a rocket blasting off ripped through the air creating a silence of anticipation. Three men entered the stage, each positioned at a different station. One stood alone with a trumpet and began playing. A whirlwind of lights flashed around the room. The concert was split into a themed light show with smoke and confetti sprinkling down covering the now crowded ground floor. Together, the audience, with Odesza acting as tour guides, reached heights as high as the moon and depths as deep as the ocean. Colored schematics matched the electronic beats in timing to accompany the image displayed on the overhanging screen. The music was mainly a collection of noises with few lyrics. The combination of intensely flashing lights and the eclectic arrangement of instruments and electro mixers left little room for boredom. As if that wasn’t enough, a synchronized drum line sat at the perimeter of the stage beating with the rhythm of the song. By the end of the concert, the audience had taken a luxurious visual trip to Odesza’s custom made soundtrack. They left the stage after a two song encore by each taking time to toss their drum sticks into the crowd as a final thanks for attending.
The overall takeaway from the concert was that there was no pressure. Each performer played the stage however they felt, even joining the crowd at times. There were no rules and few intense spouts excitement, rather it was a group of people vibing to electronic music and being swallowed in lights. Going into it I had no idea what the concert would be like, but I’m glad I went. It was an experience unlike any other variety of concert; it was more of a performance than a concert. Odesza definitely puts in the effort to make their music engaging, and the inclusion of lights helped create an atmosphere unachievable with the music alone. I only wish that the group had songs with more lyrics, but that is more a personal preference than a reflection of Odesza’s talent. Moving forward, I will have high expectations of performers in genre with Odesza.