Washed Out Brings Paracosm to the Opera House

Washed Out brought their new album, Paracosm, to a sold-out crowd at the Opera House last night. 
To impart the feeling of the show, I defer to Wikipedia, which defines a Paracosm as:

a detailed imaginary world, or fantasy world, involving humans and/or animals, or perhaps even fantasy or alien creations. Commonly having its own geography, history, and language, it is an experience that is often developed during childhood and continues over a long period of time: months or even years.”

The description fits. The whole evening unfolded under a hazy sheen of fantasy: the shell-lined proscenium; sprigs of glowing pussywillow; fake wildflower bouquets; green turf on the stage’s worn hardwood; strings of incandescent bulbs; pedals blinking; chrome microphones glinting in the purple stage lights; silhouetted bodies swaying. 

And eventually, the sound: propulsive, sonic soft focus; layers of textured synths; the dance beat and the pips and clicks of syncopated accessory percussion; a woven harmony of voices singing as one. Your friends might call it “chillwave” or “glo-fi,” but last night it was just live

Both Paracosm and the live show open with the first single from the new release,”It Feels Alright.” In a set of strong tunes, that song managed to encapsulate the mood and set the scene for both the album and the concert. It evokes long hours on the road with friends, the last hours of the day. 

Washed Out has managed to deliver the kind of music that sticks with you and makes everything around you glow with new significances you’re afraid to miss. If you let it, it brings you to a place where it all feels right. 

Paracosm is available on Sub-Pop Records.

Words and photos by Justin Scherer. 

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