I caught Beach House for the first time at the ACL Festival this year, and all I can say about that is that the sunlight isn't exactly kind to these guys. The performance that day was anticlimactic, a little awkward, and all in all just sort of disappointing. Beach House's hyperatmospheric take on surf music doesn't belong outdoors. Hell, it barely belongs outside of your headphones, so if you put them on a stage in front of a couple thousand people in the middle of a field, in the middle of the day, IN TEXAS...it's proably not going to work out to well. And it didn't. Needless to say, it left me with some feelings of trepidation. Fact is, some bands just don't do it live. It happens, and it's OK. Making a record and then PERFORMING that record are two entirely different skill sets and while I love Teen Dream the record, if Beach House just couldn't pull it together in a live setting then that was how it was going to be.
Luckily, when in the correct setting, they not only pull it together...they knock it out of the f@#@ing park.
With a deceptively simple setup (1 guitar, one keyboard and one small drum kit) in front of an unexpectedly awesome backdrop/light show, Beach House delivered an impressive, at times ethereal set that proved that from here on out they are going to be a band to look out for live. Singer Victoria Legrand didn't as much sing the songs as she did stalk them them while guitarist Alex Scally's notable guitar work wove in and out of the beat. Everything that didn't work for them in Austin, they pulled of flawlessly on Saturday. Beach House played like they were at home in this dark club. More importantly they played like a band who knows exactly what they are doing, where they are going, and how they're going to get there. Check out the video below of them performing the track "Norway" off of Teen Dream to get a taste of just how good they are right now. The backdrop came alive at this point in the show and cemented Beach House's status as a band to look out for in the future just as long as your not seeing them in the middle of a field, in the middle of the day, in Texas.
Beach House - "Norway"
and some other photos from the show