The Plaza Live; Orlando, FL • July 13, 2017
by Jen Cray
Washed Out’s gotten trippy. Like, acid soaked in mushroom tea, trippy. What began as an electronic act with hip hop beats and new wave flair in 2009, quickly evolved into a more mellow chillwave sound the last time I saw “them” (Washed Out is essentially the creative product of one Ernest Greene). That was in 2011, and they were touring with Cut Copy, and even with their beats still in place the vibe they filled the room with was dreamy, but it was a far cry from what I just witnessed at The Plaza Live.
Washed Out have become a full on visual art piece that seeks to transform a concert space into a master thesis of color and sound. Greene, alongside a pair of other mult instrumentalists, is silhouetted in front of a vast screen that continuously projects seemingly random images, patterns, and distorted reflections of the musicians themselves.
With hardly any vocals, the set is more about ambiance and art than about the band onstage. It’s more about getting lost inside your own head than about connecting with a musician who’s there to entertain you.
Less cerebral, but just as mood enhancing, were openers Dega. The married couple (Aslyn and Kalen Nash) mix 80’s synth pop, disco, and electronic music in a pleasing, but undemanding manner that tickles the same pleasure centers in the brain that enjoys a little Michael Jackson every once in awhile. They may dress like they just stumbled out of bed, or out of 1988, but what they lack in style they more than make up for with musical know-how.
The night was clearly more about mood, than anything else. So, break out your preferred poison of mind altering substances, and let Washed Out wash you away.