Oh Wonder w/ Jaymes Young
Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA
Since they started releasing their alt-pop singles in 2014, Brit duo Oh Wonder have been flying just under the radar despite “Technicolor Beat,” from their 2015 self-titled debut, being featured in every ominous landscape montage on social media. In support of their recently released sophomore album, Ultralife, Oh Wonder finished off their US tour at The Moore, with fans going from shivering outside for hours to jittering with excitement in their seats for the night to come.
Opening the night was a dark and moody set from the LA-based but Seattle-bred, Jaymes Young. His music perfectly mixed a sad sound with lyrics that sometimes matched, and sometimes wandered elsewhere. The performance was well rounded, and few things beat the small glimpses of a smile from Young when his fans in the crowd shouted their approval.
Opening with “Dazzle” from their debut album, Oh Wonder made their way on stage to the screams of all the fans. The duo has an incredible sound: at its bones, it’s mellow alt-pop, but is built up with layers of electronic and atmospheric sounds, giving it a dreamy vibe that’s perfectly paired with Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West’s contrasting vocals.
The dynamic between the two performers was enough to melt even the coldest of hearts. On their two albums, it’s easy to hear how well their voices mix, creating songs with both a higher female voice, and a lower male voice, but without it making every song sound like a terribly sappy duet. They simply work well together to give the song more depth. In their live performance, the physical interactions between the two were the cutest thing in the world. The smiles and laughs shared between them were absolutely infectious, the giddy happiness spreading through the room.
Their setlist was also really well done. A mix of fun pop songs with bone-chilling slower ones. “Waste,” for example was one of the latter. With the end of the song repeating “what a waste to be so alone” at increasing intensities while you’re packed in a crowd of fans giving 110% of their attention to Josephine singing was a surreal experience.
After many repeated thanks for the crowd, the duo finally left the stage, and left the crowd in awe of their amazing performance. The last show of their US tour, and the first show of the tour to be sold out, Seattle pulled through for Oh Wonder, and the duo returned the favor with one of the best, most heartwarming experiences we’ve been blessed with in a while.
Review and photos by Lulu Dawson