Josephine Vander Gucht, the female half of Alt-Pop duo Oh Wonder, has a theory: if the crowd brings the energy, they must double it.

Vander Gucht and Anthony West tested said theory at Iron City, the Birmingham stop of their World Tour. The international trek, which is in support of their sophomore album Ultralife, marked the Brit’s first show in Alabama. While the two were greeted by a venue full of loyal fans, they were also met by a bit of bad weather.

Neighboring hurricanes resulted in dark skies and spotty rain, which could damper any mood, but the upbeat sounds within Iron City’s four walls were the perfect remedy. Things kicked off a tad behind schedule with doors opening thirty minutes later than usual, but it was a smooth ride once things took off.

Tour opener and Seattle native Jaymes Young warmed up the audience with tracks from his R&B and soul-infused debut album Feel Something. Coincidentally The singer-songwriter, who previously toured with London Grammar and Vance Joy, dropped his LP a few days before the headliners released theirs.

The British pop duo ultimately took the stage shortly after 9:30 P.M. Large LED lights, displaying the letters O and W, brightly blinked as Vander Gucht and West cheerfully walked to their respective marks. Outside of the impressive light show, the stage setup was minimal: just two keyboards and mic stands parallel to each other.

In perfect synchronization, the duo immediately launched into “Dazzle” and “Without You” before formally addressing the crowd and welcoming them into the Ultralife. Undeterred by the bright yet bare stage, the duo proved that less is more.

Oh Wonder’s setlist was comprised songs from their self-titled debut album and Ultralife, which was released this July and included “Landslide”, “High on Humans”, “Livewire” and “Lose It.”

Despite being an almost sold out show, Vander Gucht spoke with the audience as if they were close friends. Between the two, the songstress did most of the speaking throughout the show, often giving attendees insightful backstories to some of their popular tracks.

During these crowd dialogues, Vander Gucht recalled growing up in Birmingham, but not the one below the Mason Dixie Line. Although they were in a foreign place, the singer-songwriter said that she felt welcomed by the crowd’s thunderous support.

Before concluding, duo wrapped up the show with “All We Do”, “Waste”, a medley of “ Body Gold” and “ The Rain”,  “ Heart Strings” and “ Technicolor Beat.” After departing the stage, the audience chanted their name, begging for the more of the group’s synchronic pop melodies.

After teasing the crowd for about two minutes, Vander Gucht and West returned for an encore performance of their sophomore title track “Ultralife” and their breakout hit “Drive.”

Oh Wonder may have gotten a taste of our Birmingham, but here’s to hoping that they’ll want seconds.

 

 

*Oh Wonder performed at Iron City on  Oct.8, 2017.

 

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