Sylvan Esso Bring The Dance Party To The Armory On Saturday Night


photos by Vito Ingerto

If you read a lot of local social media, you would believe that downtown Minneapolis is a dystopian wasteland similar to a Mad Max movie. But reports of her death are greatly exaggerated. There were so many events happening that parking spots were rarer than me driving the speed limit. But the most happening event was the rave like dance party indie pop duo Sylvan Esso brought to the Armory Saturday night. The band is out touring on there No Rules Sandy release from 2022. They brought Indigo De Souza as support on this stop.

Indigo and band came on right at 8pm, and opened up with “Time Back” Out touring in support of their latest release All Of This Will End”. The North Carolina natives voice started out billowy and atmospheric, contrasting the deep, confessional nature of the lyrics. The music matched the mood of the lyrics, at times gut wrenching, acting as a  polyphonic canvas for the tales Souza’s vocals wove. It was obvious from the opening tune that there was a large contingent of the audience who were there for Indigo, as they repeated ‘you fucked me up” during the tune. This wasn’t lost on Souza, as she stated that she always had great shows in Minneapolis.

Sylvan Esso came on right around 9:15pm to a dark stage and loud cheers. Nick Sanborn stepped up to his music making area, an array of synth’s and magic boxes that he uses like David Copperfield to create vast, danceable, musical landscapes. AS he broke into the opening notes of “Alarm”, an off stage spotlight backlights vocalist Amelia Meath, who appears like a celestial, radiant angel draped in silk. The dance beats emulated from Sandborn’s platform and  permeated the Armory for the rest of the night. Some of his magic boxes must be  linked to the lights, as the synchronization was uncanny. 

As dazzling as the light show was, everyone was fixated on Meath. Whatever your mood was prior to the start of the set, her exuberance was infectious. Crooning out the lyrics, while dancing energetically to Sanborns beats, they have created an innovative niche with lights, sound and vibe. This exuberance wasn’t limited to the floor of the Armory, the mezzanine levels were also pulsating with the beats.

Sylvan Esso was able to take the audience on an journey of pure music and energy, making them forget all of the gloominess for an evening fun and dance.