The Durham, N.C. indie synthpop duo played a 75-minute danceable set featuring 16 songs from their 2014 eponymous self-titled debut and their latest album, “What Now.”
After opening with “Sound,” Nick Sanborn addressed the duo’s overdue stop in the Detroit area.
“Sometimes, when you’re in a band this thing happens where you put up any dates at all, and then inevitably, someone is like, ‘Come to Brazil,’ and you’re like, ‘It’s so hard to go to Brazil,’ so it’s a common band thing,” he said. “And the one place every time somebody says ‘Come to Detroit,’ you guys are like the only ones that get to complain. We’re so sorry, this has been a long time coming.”
Nearly 1,100 fans cheered in response to Sanborn and Amelia Meath’s long awaited arrival in the Motor City. The anticipation was worth the wait as Sylvan Esso intricately weaved one pop jam into another for an eager crowd.
Sylvan Esso setlist highlights included “Kick Jump Twist,” “Die Young,” “Just Dancing” and “Radio” from “What Now” and “Could I Be,” “Uncatena,” “H.S.K.T.” and “Coffee” from their first album.
After “Coffee,” Meath asked the crowd to howl in unison with her before singing “Wolf.” Together, they gave it two tries before Meath had formed her new Pontiac “Wolf” pack.
“That was a pretty good howl. Y’all gave it your all – you did it,” said Meath while wearing cool platform sneakers. “I think you can do better though. Do you guys want to try to do better?”
With the pack on her side, Meath also talked about her recent visit to the Bat Zone, a new Pontiac-based nocturnal animal sanctuary located at 75 W. Huron St.
“Have you guys ever been there?” she said. “It is so awesome there. I went alone and met all of the fruit bats today. It was the best. It was just me and a woman who was so f***king into bats. It was cool.”
Unlike Meath, Sanborn wasn’t a bat fan.
“I admittedly walked into and directly back out of that place, but I applaud you for your bat bravery,” he said.
Bat bravery aside, Sylvan Esso owned the night up until the show’s end with “Rewind” and “Play It Right.”
Luckily, Sanborn and Meath played it right up until the very end and then disappeared into the night.