By Joseph Sutton-Holcomb / Special to The Seattle Times
Ironically, it was the cheers from the crowd at the end of the night, not the bass, that blew out my ears Saturday night.
It was the first of Odesza’s two consecutive sold-out shows at Neumos. That night, it was clear Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight’s joint EDM project is experiencing what must be called the “Macklemore” effect: gaining notoriety by amassing a huge posse of zealous local fans ASAP.
They were in full form. Young Seattleites clapped along to the beats, screamed their lungs out, made out with their significant others, filled the venue with pot smoke and danced like they were getting paid to do so.
Crowds with this level of cohesion are fascinating to behold. When Mills and Knight started busting out the new material — the most enjoyable being the single “Sun Models” — the people in the front sounded like they were about to go into conniptions.
With folks like this surrounding you, it’s hard not to drink the proverbial Kool-Aid. But the band compiled an objectively excellent computer-based set. It was nicely eclectic, with several brand new tracks, material off their latest EP “My Friends Never Die” and some remixes. One, which riffed on a short Alicia Keys sample, was fun, but would have been improved if Keys’ vocals were more present. The highlight of the evening was a remix of Seattle band Beat Connection’s “Palace Garden 4 a.m.” Reed Juenger from Beat Connection was even in the audience. That must have been flattering.
The visuals for the opening acts were pretty basic, but Odesza’s were akin to looking through the Hubble telescope after taking a powerful psychedelic. It was a mind-bending mix of nature photography and pulsating geometric shapes. The most extraordinary came toward the end: pictures of nighttime cityscapes superimposed over photos of desert cacti.
Two producers, Kodak to Graph and D33j, were the first and second openers respectively. Kodak was a pleasant surprise. He focused almost exclusively on hip-hop and R&B, mashing samples together over unabashedly trappy beats. D33j had a chiller, more trance-influenced set, and should have probably played first. He was talented, but the set became a valley between two more energetic musical peaks.
Odesza plays at 8 p.m. Sunday, April 13, at Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; sold out (206-709-9467 or www.neumos.com).