Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Beach House at Metro, 4/2/10

Baltimore-based indie rockers Beach House played to a sold-out crowd at Wrigleyville's Metro theater on April 2. Beach House is popular among the Media Corner team, fellow staff member Linda previously wrote up their most recent album Teen Dream. I've been a fan since their self-titled debut, but this was my first time seeing them live.

New Zealander Annabel Alpers aka. Bachelorette opened for Beach House, and it was one of those rare instances where the opening act complimented the headliner well. Bachelorette has an electro-pop sound accompanied by Alpers' strong vocals. She overlaps her vocals on many of tracks, giving her a hint of 1960s girl group sound. Alpers has kind of an awkward, Charlyne Yi-esque stage persona. I doubt that most people in the audience had heard of her before the show, but she won over much of the audience after her set.

The mood in the theater was definitely interesting throughout the night.  Metro tends to encourage concert-goers to also visit its neighboring Smart Bar before and after shows. You couldn't ask for a more excited or receptive audience, though you could tell that many had partaken in the pre-show libation.  By the end of the night, it was rowdier crowd than you expect at most shows for dream pop bands, especially considering the concert was finished by midnight on a Friday night. 

Beach House took the stage at around 10 PM and played for about an hour and half.  The stage decorations for their set consisted of sparkly, shiny pyramids which, in combination with foggy haze of the theater and dark lighting, was reminiscence of a school dance.  Their set consisted mostly of songs off  Teen Dream with a few older songs thrown in the mix ("Gila" and "Master of None").  Lead singer Victoria Legrand's smoky, booming voice is one of the major strengths of the band and in the smaller venue it really stood out.  Perhaps due to the somber, dreamy sound of the band, I was somewhat surprised by how much charisma Legrand had in person.  Between her constantly moving, flowing locks and funny on-stage banter, she turned many of the too-cool-to-care hipster boys in the audience into teenyboppers.  One boozy concert-goer near me gleefully announced to his friends, "I think she'd like me" in reference to Legrand. Band mate Alex Scally was on the quieter side, their touring drummer actually interacted more with the audience than Scally did. However, Scally's guitar work made up for his lack of showmanship.  Highlights of their set included "Norway," "Used to Be" and an encore performance of "10 Mile Stereo."