All photography by Ceethreedom
If you were walking by the Fonda Theatre last night unaware of what was going on inside the venue, you may have felt a slight rumble under your feet. Don’t worry, it wasn’t an earthquake. It was the bombastic vibrations coming from two immensely talented performances: Tune-Yards and Sylvan Esso. These two bands absolutely crushed it last night at the Fonda.
Taking the stage as the supporting act were Sylvan Esso. Formed by Amelia Meath, a member of the singing trio, Mountain Man — Meath now has taken her mesmerising vocals to team up with electronic producer, Nick Sanborn (aka Made of Oak). Opening up with “Hey Mami” the first song from their lauded debut album, fans were teased with the sweet and playful vocals coming from the pint-sized Meath. While heads moved in waves to the electronic grooves and loops, about a minute and half into the track the crowd all raised their hands in the air as a surge of earth shattering bass climbed up their limbs. It was pretty fuckin’ rad to say the least.
Taking us through songs with majestic vocal range and a fierce militia of hard-hitting beats, Sylvan Esso not only worked the crowd with their musical talents, but they had extraordinary stage energy. Sanborn was feeding off the crowd’s energy, moving and dancing to every climax of his electronic feast while Meath bounced along and slithered to the music. The two couldn’t be more polar opposites in terms of height. Sanborn is quite the tall drink of water, while even all that jumping and hands in the air couldn’t bring the lovely Meath to his level. Needless to say, on songs such as “Could I Be” and “Play It Right”, Meath’s soaring vocals climb the highest peaks.
While a good chunk of the crowd here to support Sylvan Esso, fans of Tune-Yards that had never heard the duo before were immensely impressed by their sheer talent and high energy vibes. “Who is this band?” shouted a girl next to me. “I have no idea but I NEED their album,” replied another concert-goer. After getting the crowd into a dance frenzy with their bass-heavy “H.S.K.T” (my personal favorite), fans were totally hooked. The Latin vibes on this song all had us shouting, “Don’t you wanna get some, ESSO!”
As always, Tune-Yards were an extraordinary musical and visual treat. Stimulating our ears with their Haitian-noise-soul, Tune-Yards had more colors than a rainbow on stage. Leading lady Merrill Garbus was fashioning an outfit that reminded me of my adolescent Rainbow Brite doll. With a red shiny patent leather dress that had puffy shoulder sleeves, her band was also wearing some creative pieces from rainbow hotpants to shirts that looked as though they were splattered with a blob of red paint. Pair all that goodness against her zany stage drop of pink ribbons and eyeballs and you have yourself quite the busy plate of human visuals. It was like watching a box of crayons dance.
Tune-Yards music is already a chaotic bubble of fun and it was most pleasurable to see it all come to life through each band member. Watching them dance and feel the music as Grabus’ vocals hit insane falsetto and soulful roars was almost theatrical.
Words: Sandra Burciaga
Want more photos? Check out the photo gallery below!