While London duo Oh Wonder may not have the most sizeable stage presence (spending the majority of their performance standing behind keyboards or other synthetic noise makers), the charisma of Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West would seem to be a profoundly potent source of excitement and more than capable of enthralling a sold out crowd at Union Transfer at (apparently) their “official biggest US show ever.”  The groovy, synthy, R&B-inspired indie poppers took the stage this past Tuesday, January 26th, for a capacity audience at one of the city’s biggest rooms (The concert was originally intended for the 150-capacity Boot & Saddle, but got upgraded after an almost instant sell out.)  And while much of the ultra-white, ultra-hetero, half-heartedly preppy, barely-post-college audience spent most of the evening viewing the performance via the lens of their Apple internet telephone or sharing tales of recent hookups as they related to the particular song being played, everyone in attendance seemed to get everything and more than they could’ve hoped for out of the 12-song set (And I must admit, that for a demographic whose appreciation for music would seem to be relatively shallow, I was impressed to see that a pretty massively decent portion of the audience knew the words to nearly every song.)

Throughout the course their just-about-hour-long performance the band powered through nearly every song off of their self-titled debut, which officially dropped last September, after the majority of the songs were released one-at-a-time as singles.  In an, I must admit, “cool” move, the band slowly eased themselves into momentum, opening the set with soulfully “chill” ballad “Livewire” (No, not the Motley Crue song.) and not getting to their sassiest and most anthemic selves until about 20 minutes in with “Lose It.”  And although the band is indeed quite synth heavy and could easily be described as making “dance music,” the majority of the set was more along the lines of postmodern lounge, likely to induce swaying accompanied by mid-level existential musing.  Highlights included “Without You” (No, also not the Motley Crue song.) which would seem to blend the ‘90s best R&B and the 21st century’s most playfully poignant piano pop and “Midnight Moon,” a funky excursion into late ‘90s, folky alt pop.  And although attendees (who are likely not frequent concert attendees) seemed a bit disappointed at not getting an encore, it is pretty clear that Oh Wonder will likely be back to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection in the near future and that their gig at Union Transfer will likely be the most intimate room we’ll be able to experience them in in the foreseeable future (They will be returning on August 11th when they appear with Halsey at the substantially-bigger Festival Pier.)