It’s no secret that Minneapolis is a great city for music. And lately it seems like music fans in the Twin Cities are trying to outdo themselves. This summer, national tours have been selling out multiple nights of shows. Typically this is seen in major cities like Los Angeles, New York or Chicago, but the Twin Cities continue to prove that we have some of the best music fans in the country (ok, maybe we’re a little biased). And this was the case this week at First Avenue for Sylvan Esso and opener Flock of Dimes. The staff here at Twin Cities Media made it out for night two with Sylvan Esso. It might have been Monday but there was weekend energy all around the sold out First Avenue.
Opening up the evening was Baltimore native Flock of Dimes. Flock of Dimes is the solo of project of multi-instrumentalist Jenn Wasner. Just a few songs into her set, it was clear that Flock of Dimes was the perfect precursor to Sylvan Esso. Her dynamic vocals paired with her ability to switch between guitar, bass, keys and synth with ease made for a hypnotic set. Flock of Dimes vocally was reminiscent of fellow power house vocalist Ryn Weaver while her wizardry switching between instruments was reminiscent of Jack Garratt. “I’m sure a lot of people say this, but I seriously mean it, last night the crowd was so amazing and I was like there is no way that can happen two nights in a row. But it did. You guys are fucking amazing and it just goes to show that Minneapolis is the shit,” Wasner said grinning ear to ear in between songs. Flock of Dimes played tracks off her 2016 album, “If You See Me, Say Yes” including “The Joke” and “Ida Glow.” The undeniable standout moment from her set was her cover of Annie Lennox 1995 hit “No More I Love You’s.”
Headliners Sylvan Esso took to the stage shortly after their 9:15 pm scheduled set time. A packed First Avenue always has a special energy, but that contagious magic was felt heavily by the time Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn took to the stage. Fans were ready to dance and drink (and apparently dab) along to Sylvan Esso all night long. There really was a palpable energy around the room as fans began to rock and dance along to Sound, the perfect opener for their set. Sylvan Esso sure has come along since we first caught them four or five summers ago at a little local block party which is no longer in existence. I remember being captivated with Meath’s vocals the first time I hear them play that parking lot at said parking lot. That captivating aura of Meath and Sanborn on stage has only grown stronger over the years as they have continued to grow as artists and performers. With festivals like Coachella and Eaux Claires under their belt, Meath and Sanborn are no strangers to the stage and to see the way they commanded the stage with such confidence was something special to see. Sylvan Esso is currently touring in support of their 2017 release What Now, which has already been widely received this year. Their set was a smattering of songs from What Now including the infectiously catchy, The Glow and Radio. The crowd exploded when they played their 2014 breakout single Coffee, singing along to every word. Minneapolis showed up in full force on Monday night, and so did Sylvan Esso with what was essentially an hour-long dance party.
Their tour continues tonight in Omaha.
Sellist: Sound / Could I Be / Kick Jump Twist / Dress / Signal / Die Young / Song / Coffee / Wolf / Just Dancing / Slack Jaw / Uncatena / Hey Mami / H.S.K.T. / Radio / Encore: Rewind / Play It Right