Living in Ultralife: Oh Wonder Concert Review

My Tuesday night was set in motion by the chilly, 56 degree breeze while waiting in line for the Oh Wonder concert in front of the House of Blues. After a slow 30 minutes that felt like an eternity, I could feel the excitement pulsing through my veins as I embarked in route to the front barricade.

Jaymes Young’s chilling vocals turned every head in direction to the stage. Playing hits such as ‘Habits of my Heart’ and ‘We Won’t’, he left the audience swaying and on their toes hungry for more.

With flashing lights and an aura of smoke, Oh Wonder, the London- based, alternative pop duo consisting of Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West, electrified the stage and began an eruption of screams as the opened with ‘Dazzle’. With upbeat tempos, soft yet sweet vocals and carefully crafted lyrics, the duo set a positive sound for the night to unfold into.

Oh Wonder’s setlist was balanced evenly between their debut, self-titled album, released in 2015, and their sophomore album, Ultralife, released in summer of 2017. Their live performance sounded exact to those which combined influences of R&B, singer songwriter, electronic and minimalist influences topped with their signature, emotionally heartfelt lyrics and their delicately placed piano based instrumentation.

“We, by nature, like to have opinions on other people, but nobody knows you. Please do not listen to anybody else’s opinion. You have the best judgement; never give up on yourself in the pursuit of being you!” Josephine piped before breaking into their famed ‘All We Do’, from Oh Wonder.

As the duo pushed into the night, each song made the crowd feel more enlightened than the last. During the band’s performance of ‘Heartstrings’, Vander Gucht introduced brother Will through to the audience as an addition to Oh Wonder’s collection of woodwind instruments for the night, as he performed the saxophone alongside his sister, who was belting out among the keyboard.

Oh Wonder circled back to their self-titled album with “Technicolour Beat” to draw a close on their sold-out show. The duo embodied their phrase, ‘Technicolour Beat’, with a large ‘O’ and a large ‘W’ lighting up their stage in neon colors, synchronized with every change in the beat. Their bright smiles brought an end to my Tuesday night, as I walked out of the venue, warmed by the love exerted onto me by Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West, the brains behind the band that made me feel like I was living in ultra-life.

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