Most Monday nights end without much excitement; Washed Out made sure that this Monday did not end like the rest. At 9 o’clock, Ernest Greene walked on stage at The Underground, got his synthesizer and drumsticks ready, and blasted the room with “Title Card” – the first song off of his newly released album, “Mister Mellow.”
“Title Card” seamlessly transitioned into “Burn Out Blues,” a song with so many instrumental layers that it’s hard not to thoroughly lose oneself in the waves. Washed Out’s style can be hard to place, considering how it pulls from multiple genres – electronic, hip-hop, funk, disco and more. Some have labeled him a pioneer in the electronic sub-genre called “Chillwave.” The title seems perfectly fitting.
It can be difficult for electronic-style musicians to shine in a live scene, especially if they have an incredibly detailed sound like Greene’s, yet he was able to bring his music to life with the help of his guitarist and drummer.
A colorful ever-changing projection played over the band, only adding to the experience. It helped to bring a psychedelic mood to the night, with its bright rings of color and perfectly tinted silhouettes of the members as they performed.
All coupled together, the concert felt almost like a time machine, drifting ever so slowly back in time, pulling bits and pieces of music from each decade, making especially long pit stops in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
But Greene’s music isn’t only exceptional because of the way it sounds, but because of his message behind the music. He talks about the every day struggle of a dull, cyclical life. One that is easy for the best of us to fall into. His style of music reflects what he wants to say. It’s meant to relax, help regroup, and reenergize. Not by being in your face, but by creating a sound so soothing it’s impossible not to let go of your everyday problems, if only for five minutes.
The night continued its chill vibes with “Feel It All Around”, a huge crowd pleaser. It’s one of the songs that truly put Washed Out on the map through its use as the theme song of the show “Portlandia.”
Washed Out’s creative sound kept the crowd engaged the entire night. Their hypotonic, trancelike music is all their own, which only brings their audience in, keeping them guessing for what is to come in the future.