Oh Wonder played their “biggest concert ever,” according to them, at Shrine Auditorium in downtown L.A. last wednesday evening, and their excitement was palpable. Josephine Gucht and Anthony West have certainly come a long way since releasing their self-made album back in 2014. They wrote, recorded, and released one song per month for an entire year beginning in September 2014, and then released the full album (containing two previously unreleased songs). Josephine couldn’t stop gushing over her love for the increasing number of fans that the alternative pop duo has cultivated over the past couple of years since their last visit to L.A.
The show wouldn’t have been the same without their incredible opener, Jaymes Young. Known best for his song “I’ll Be Good,” Jaymes pulled just as much enthusiasm from the crowd as the house act eventually did, even with his calm, emotional music. He’s incredibly well known, if not by name then simply by sound, and it felt like everyone in the theatre was singing every word to his songs. When he played his song “We Won’t,” which has the most plays of any of his songs on Spotify, I’m pretty sure we all drowned the beginning with our screams.
Oh Wonder played a number of hits from their first self titled album with a good mix from their second, Ultralife, as well. Songs such as “Without You,” “Drive,” and “All We Do” were the ones that stood out the most to me as I looked around at everyone’s faces. Emotion was heightened for some of them, while happiness radiated during others, but everyone knew every single word to all of them. The singers were clearly ecstatic when they heard us all singing along, having taken the time to learn the lyrics that they had so carefully thought out.
When I was invited to the concert by a new friend at the beginning of the school year, I was surprised by her knowing the band at all since I had rarely met people who knew or listened to them before. When we arrived at the concert and found the gigantic auditorium to be absolutely packed, my heart swelled with happiness at how we were all there to experience those same artists; all of those people were willing to spend money for this experience – all of us wanted to be there to hear these amazingly talented people sing their beautiful songs for our own specific reasons. It was a magnificent experience.