March 3, 2024

ODESZA, Sofi Tukker, and Louis Futon Bring an Unforgettable Spectacle to UIC Pavilion


Very rarely, we get really lucky and experience a concert that is not only a blast from start to finish, but also a shining example of musicians who excel at performing and clearly love what they do.  This was one of those experiences where every single person who stepped on-stage was happy to be there, setting of an afterglow of bliss into the crowd.

The show started off with a minimalist set consisting only of Louis Futon, his laptop, equipment, and a huge smile. For anyone whose seen videos of him happily breaking down how he remixes tracks, his live show is no not too far off. For the tiny bit of space he occupied onstage surrounded by his equipment, he made his presence big enough for the gigantic venue.

As Louis Futon left the stage, crew members cleared away his equipment and unveiled Sofi Tukker’s bright and colorful beat tree. The electronic dance duo ran onstage hurtling shirts into the crowd before starting off their set. Vocalist/guitarist Sophie and bassist/percussionist/vocalist Tucker were both sure to cover both sides of the stage throughout their set, meeting center stage to beat on their percussion tree. The bright lights behind them sent flashes of color all around, engulfing the venue in almost a multi-color wash of tropical sunlight. Before starting into “Awoo,” Tucker walked the crowd through some coordinated choreography, full of sassy wrist flicks usually reserved for Sophie and guest vocalist Bette. About midway through the set, Sophie jumped into the crowded-the point in pretty much every set where they momentarily lose Sophie. She jumped back onto the stage and they finished out their set strong with an extended version of international hit “Drinkee.”

ODESZA began their set with an epic start, pulling in an 8-person drumline. While the electronic duo spent most of the time on an elevated platform housing their instruments, there was never a shortage of wonders to experience.  Their set was more than an hour of sensory overload.  There was always something to look at with a blizzard of lights and lasers, colorful visuals projected on a giant backdrop, the drum line weaving on and off the stage perfectly in sync with the beat, and even a couple flurries of confetti.  In addition to the drum line, they had trumpet and trombone players on their own elevated islands flanking the main platform.  In addition to the usual guest vocals from Naomi Wild on “Higher Ground” and WYNNE on “Line of Sight,” special guest Leon Bridges graced the stage for “Across the Room.”  Bridges just about froze the entire venue with his effortlessly cool performance.  The set ended with lights still turned down low.  It was only a matter of seconds before chants for an encore erupted and cell phone flashlights began twinkling in the distance like a starry night sky.  ODESZA returned to the stage to close out their set, setting off another blast of the confetti cannons into the happy crowd.