Tag Archives: Mountain Man


Sylvan Esso Amaze Terminal 5 with a Dazzling Show

January 26th, 2015

Sylvan Esso – Terminal 5 – January 23, 2015

Sylvan Esso – Terminal 5 – January 23, 2015
Having been on the wrong coasts at the wrong time, I missed seeing Sylvan Esso live all of last year, which was a major downer since their self-titled album was one of my favorites from 2014. I’d been a fan of Amelia Meath from her time with Mountain Man, and I’d seen Nick Sanborn perform with Megafaun. But what they create as a pair far exceeded anything I could have imagined and fueled many a late summer night—pairing simple but dang catchy synths with Meath’s vocal dance and bounce from beat to beat. This past Friday night at a sold-out Terminal 5, I rectified last year’s elusion.

Ensconced in darkness, Meath and Sanborn descended onstage with minimal equipment, only the synth station and microphones. Barreling into “Could I Be,” the sound gave out midway to the surprise of the duo. Not to miss a beat, Sanborn stated, “This has never happened before.” Those in the crowd weren’t worried as the band quickly took it back to the top before Meath playfully announced, “Once more with feeling.” The pint-size singer in platform shoes commanded the stage with intricate dance moves that could give Robyn
a run for her money. I’m not sure if it was the java scent stuck on my clothes from an earlier Cafe Grumpy run, but I was abuzz for “Coffee” and so were the fans cascading to the lyrics “get up, get down.”

The hostess of the night led the crowd in pre-howls on “Wolf” as Sanborn infused pulsating beats. Not stopping there, he delivered a heavy helping of drum and bass for “H.S.K.T.” Then, after a quick exit, Sylvan Esso returned to encore with a new song that they joked would be on a future album, Bangers with an s. Take that, Miley Cyrus. Meath called “Come Down,” the finale, a “slow one” before crooning to a packed Terminal 5, still reeling from the high-energy show. As folks filed downstairs, I heard multiple proclamations of “best show ever” and “aren’t they the beeest?” Needless to say, everyone was thoroughly entertained. —Sharlene Chiu

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com


Sylvan Esso Celebrate New Release Tonight at Mercury Lounge

July 17th, 2013

A chance meeting three years ago led to Mountain Man vocalist Amelia Meath and Megafaun multi-instrumentalist Nick Sanborn teaming up to form the duo Sylvan Esso. Their debut, a 12″, “Hey Mami”/”Play It Right” (stream it below), just came out yesterday on Trekky Records. It features two A-sides with an a cappella and instrumental version of each tune. Stereogum calls the single “the perfect synthesis of both groups’ sound—folksy crooning and layered harmonies from Meath and Sanborn’s crunchy synths that both bounce and stutter.” And Sylvan Esso celebrate its release tonight at Mercury Lounge.


Leslie Turns BAM Feisty in Just Three Songs

November 3rd, 2011

Feist – Brooklyn Academy of Music – November 2, 2011

It wasn’t a club, nor was it an ordinary theater that Feist played last night in Brooklyn, but an opera house. So you might have expected a little bit of decorum from both the musicians and the crowd. But that’s not the way Leslie Feist operates. She turned what could have been a staid “Evening with…” into an all-out cuddlefest with an audience that was all too happy to return the favor. The set started off serious enough with the tribal rhythms of “Undiscovered First.” With stark backlighting, Feist and her band were literally looming shadows over the crowd. On the second song, “Graveyard,” she sang, “Bring them all back to life,” surrounded by eerie red lights, and the stage was set for a full evening of gravitas.

But it was not meant to be, one song later the singer-songwriter urged the crowd to get up and dance, to come up and fill in the chasm between the first row and the stage. With an ever so slight “Can we do that in here?” hesitation, they quickly heeded the call and there was suddenly a bear-hug embrace of crowd and artist. Feist, in working through almost her entire new album, Metals, proved to be the master of the Oh’s and Ooh’s along the way. Her band was solid, and her backup singers—the powerful female vocal trio Mountain Man—stole the spotlight on several occasions. The crowd was in a giddy mood all night, spurred on by Feist’s amiable chitchat that occasionally turned into ad-libbed lyrics directed at the audience. And while those in the crowd were certainly in the mood to dance to songs like “I Feel It All,” it was the slower numbers that brought out the strengths of the band. Tunes like “Bittersweet Melodies” and “Comfort Me” seemed to stretch out each note, letting the music feel the room appropriately.

Finally, though, the up-tempo won out and Feist could hold back no longer: first inviting a still-dressed for-Halloween audience member to dance onstage and then, for the encore, bringing a large percentage of those seated in the orchestra onstage to boogie, gawk and document. As the band thumped its way through a great version of “Sea Lion Woman” entirely surrounded by smiling fans, it was clearly no longer an opera house, but Feist’s house. —A. Stein