PERFORMANCES: ODESZA at Suwannee Hulaween

ODESZA will make you believe in magic. Because that’s exactly what they were at Suwannee Hulaween. Just pure magic.

What a privilege, what a sacred blessing from the universe it was to watch these two from the very front rail of the concert. There was electricity, a tangible restlessness rippling through the crowd even before the duo came on stage. We all sensed it–we were about to be rocked. We were about to experience something so rare, so electrifying that no other artist could dream to offer at Hulaween.

The duo, Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight, wasted no time in starting an explosive set with a tribal drum cadence that pounded through our hearts. Then, surprisingly, “I Want You” begins to echo through the forest. Diehard ODESZA fans freak out because this meant that both fan-favorite classics from older albums and brand new releases were going to be played tonight.

Other classic tracks play, including the upbeat “All We Need (Feat. Shy Girls)” and the mellow “White Lies (Feat. Jenni Potts)”. ODESZA seamlessly blended their songs together and grew their momentum so much that by the time “IPlayUListen” came on, it was impossible to record a video. It was impossible to do anything, besides let the cascading piano and pulsating beats bob you around and send chills through your nervous system.

After each song, I didn’t believe it could get any better. There was no way. And then, their remix of “Faded” by ZHU happened. I lost any sense of composure I had left. ODESZA takes original songs and transforms them into works of art. I’ve ran miles listening to this song. I’ve danced in my car for months listening to this song. I’ve studied late at night with this beat bleeding into my consciousness. To finally hear it played live was a truly special moment.

ODESZA’s Mills and Knight are skyrocketing to fame in the electronic music genre and for good reason. Their music is fearless. Beautiful things happen when artists discover their authentic sound and run with it. It feels wrong to call these two EDM DJs because their music has so much substance and is designed to take the listener through a journey where he or she emerges triumphant in the end. This journey is best displayed through In Return, their second album.

ODESZA left me in tears. They left me in pieces, scrambling around trying to understand how I can go on after such an incredible experience. I still sense a great sadness that the set came and ended so quickly. But I also feel a little less hollow than before.