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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

IN PHOTOS: ODESZA said their ‘Last Goodbye’ to Nashville at Ascend Amphitheater

Grammy-nominated electronic music duo ODESZA delivered a stunning and immersive performance to starstruck fans on Sept. 15.
Dodie Park
ODESZA performs with colorful production elements at Ascend Amphitheater, as photographed on Sept. 15, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Dodie Park)

Electronic-pop duo ODESZA hit the stage at the Ascend Amphitheater on Sept. 15. Their performance was electric and had the whole crowd moving to the beats.

ODESZA is a musical collaboration between Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight, who created electronic music independently before combining creative efforts. Mills and Knight brought high energy to Nashville on Friday night with their electric set, lasers and pyrotechnics and stunning futuristic visuals. The atmosphere of this show felt like a music festival, with many attendees donning rave outfits. It was an environment unlike any other concert I have ever attended as people showed up hours before the main act to catch the openers. The lawn seating promoted a friendly atmosphere, with people lounging on their blankets and catching up with friends. 

Before ODESZA began their set, a sequence of opening acts performed. Kicking off the night was OLAN and QRTR, a duo of independent artists. Their set highlighted how synchronized they were with each other and the audience. Next up, TOKiMONSTA walked on stage to an excited crowd in a space-themed jumpsuit to perform her dynamic set. She wrapped her set with a selfie with the crowd to commemorate the night.

The final opener was Bob Moses. This duo’s set was not typical of electronic music but, instead relied heavily on the balance between live components from the guitarist, vocalist and other musicians on stage. Bob Moses performed some of their hits, including “Love Brand New” and “Inner Light.” They also performed an unreleased track, “Round and Round,” prompting loud cheers from the crowd. Their twist on traditional EDM made their set unique, adding to their darker vibe.

Around 9:15 p.m. CDT, the stage went dark, and the crowd rose to their feet in anticipation of the main act. Soft-toned music began to play as ODESZA opened their set with “This Version of You,” revealing the stage setup — both halves of the duo stood on elevated structures next to each other. The screen behind them featured incredible visuals with a futuristic setting, consistent with their performance’s theme.

After a few popular tracks like “Say My Name,” ODESZA invited Jack Froggatt from Mansion Air to the stage to sing their verses on “Heavier.” His voice blended seamlessly with the backing music and beats, furthering ODESZA’s emphasis on music as a collaborative journey. Next, ODESZA’s drumline appeared. Their solo elevated the mood as the crowd watched with phones drawn to capture this mesmerizing segment. The following track, “Better Now,” featured both Froggatt and artist Naomi Wild. Their vocals, combined with the more pop-sounding track, had people up on their feet jumping around. 

After a few more tracks, the ODESZA played their track titled “Forgive Me” and brought out artist Izzy Bizu to her part. During this track, a trombone and trumpet player appeared, offering a distinct sound to build the live track.

Toward the end, the song that stood out to me was Wild’s collaboration with ODESZA on “Higher Ground.” This track blended Wild’s vocals and ODESZA’s beat-building abilities. It was a change of pace from the rest of the set but a much-appreciated twist as the show reached an end.

Once the set ended, the crowd roared and clapped for ODESZA to return for an encore. A few minutes later, they reappeared on stage to play the title track from their Grammy-nominated album “The Last Goodbye.” The crowd energy was at an all-time high for this song, with people around me singing and dancing along.

By bringing out featured artists to sing live instead of mostly using premixed tracks, ODESZA demonstrated their commitment to building a music family that grows together. This show set their music apart from other EDM music creators as audience members were immersed in a live mixing of drumline, trumpet and trombone, singers and artists on DJ decks for an authentic sound. 

This format was unlike any other live electronic music performance I’ve seen, and it truly raised the standard. As someone who recently discovered the EDM scene, I can certainly say I have Spotify notifications turned on for ODESZA now!

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About the Contributors
Sharmila Adapa
Sharmila Adapa, Staff Photographer
Sharmila Adapa (‘26) is from Fairfax, Va., and studies medicine, health and society and economics in the College of Arts and Science. When not taking pictures for The Hustler, you can find her hanging out with friends, listening to music or napping in MRB. You can reach her at [email protected].
Dodie Park
Dodie Park, Staff Photographer
Dodie Park (‘26) is from Bergen County, N.J., and studies medicine, health and society in the College of Arts and Science. When not taking pictures for The Hustler, she is searching for Fred Again tickets, fencing, golfing, trying out new restaurants or drinking espresso at home with her two-foot-tall Gengar plushie. She can be reached at [email protected].
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