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Review: An Electronic Oasis at Best Buy Theater

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Emancipator Ensemble, Star Slinger, Odesza and Real Magic put on a mesmerizing show Friday night.

Review: An Electronic Oasis at Best Buy Theater

Based on the number of shows I attend on a weekly basis, it's getting difficult to really differentiate between a show unless it really stands out. I'm not getting jaded, but just because of the sheer number of shows I go to, groups and artists really need to wow me. But this past Valentine's Day, a stacked lineup of electronic artists put on a show that left me wanting more. And that was after three and a half hours of music.

Emancipator Ensemble, Star Slinger, Odesza and Real Magic collectively built upon the other's sets to produce some incredible moments and a show filled with great versatility. As headliners, Emancipator Ensemble really wowed with their mixture of production and live instrumentation. I never thought I'd see violins and mandolins mix with drum machines, but it was a beautiful fusion. The live drumming was great, and the atmospheric music swept the entire crowd at the Best Buy Theater into a dancing, swaying mass.

Star Slinger was actually the least impressive of the four for me. The other groups had tracks that worked better as songs, filled with their own moments of climax and tension. His was more or less just a DJ set, but he kept things very lively.

Odesza was the main highlight for me. From the time I first heard them, I wanted to experience their set live. It didn't disappoint. All of their music hits just as well live, and the newer material has an even greater presence in a live setting. Check out video of one of their "old" songs "IPlayYouListen" and get a feel of what their live show was like:

Real Magic was a real surprise as an opener. Not only did he work his boards, not only did he play guitar to an Explosions in the Sky style, but he sang beautifully as well. When he busted out a cover of Robyn's "Dancing On My Own," I was completely sold. Real Magic is certainly one to keep an eye on.

Check out photos from all four sets below:

Emancipator Ensemble

Star Slinger


Real Magic

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