Made of Oak – Nick Sanborn

Feel.that.bass is what I kept thinking all throughout Made of Oak‘s performance Thursday night at Schubas Tavern, a bar that welcomes a diverse taste in music from indie to jazz and everything in between. You may also know him from indie electronic pop duo Sylvan Esso.

For me, music is what feelings sound like. I’m not really sure when music became such a huge part of who I am or way of expression, but my mom tells me that even as a baby I’d immediately start bouncing at the sound of music. Furthermore, I don’t know when I discovered the world of live music. Concerts, for me, are such a unique experience that connect me with a particular artist–even song–on a whole other level. What I appreciate even more is witnessing how artists embrace their music and also engage with the audience.

As Nick warmed up, I took a look around and noticed the crowd ranged from all ages and ethnicities–yet another reason why music is so beautiful; it’s universality. The stage was simple. It was just Made of Oak’s signature dance moves (Nick Sanborn), his laptop and sound boards. Less is more. All eyes (and ears) were on him, and he delivered such an amazing set that had us bobbing our heads and swaying our bodies from track to track.

I love catching local shows in small venues because that usually means a) the people who are there appreciate the artist in a true and raw form and b) welcomes a very chill ambiance and  c) the performer will most likely stick around for a quick meet and greet without the glitz and glam. About a year ago I met his other half of Sylvan Esso, Amelia Meath during one of the Lollapalooza pre-shows. I chatted with her but didn’t want to be that person asking for a picture. This time; however, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me up. Disclaimer: Sylvan Esso is definitely on the top of my favorite artist list. He seemed down to earth, so why not? As he turned his attention toward me, I said, “I’m a hugger” and went in for a hug. I was hardcore cheeesing (aka gushing) for the rest of the night after my little one-on-one with an artist from one of my favorite groups–probably the why I was so like “whoa.”

Did I expect to meet him that night, heck no but am totally happy I have this memory. His approachability and humble demeanor makes me like him all the better. Funny story, I was standing next to this lady who I stood next to when Sylvan Esso played at the Metro about a year ago. #SmallWorld. I asked her if she had ever seen Sylvan Esso and it took her a little while to remember but she did! Don’t know how I recognized her–maybe the curly hair–but, I guess that’s part of the concert culture especially with acts who are a little more niche. Looking forward to Sylvan Esso’s upcoming album and when they’re next in town!

I leave you with this little gem, he since has shaved his beard:

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