The Baltimore-based dream pop duo Beach House made a much-appreciated stop at Santa Barbara’s Soho Music Club on Friday, April 16, before heading into the desert heat for their Coachella appearance. The crowd was desperate to see the sold out show, with some fans lining up in front of the venue hours before the doors opened.
Australian Indie rockers The Middle East opened, playing their own dream-like blend of vocal harmonies and acoustic majesty. They were a pleasant surprise for audience members who hadn’t had TME on their radar previously, and they were the perfect brand of upbeat indie tunes to warm the crowd up. Their song “Blood” really stood out in their set, with soft vocals and soothing guitar that built to an energetic climax, with vocal harmonies that could only be rivaled by The Shins. The venue was packed to the brim by the end of their set, with the all-ages crowd overflowing from the main room into the outdoor patio, where fans stood on tiptoes to get a good view.
The lights dimmed as Beach House took to the stage, with practically nothing visible besides the shiny set décor sparkling in the void. It all added to the effect though, with giant, luminous diamonds behind them glowing like disco balls, and the lights so low that the dynamic duo was all but completely masked by darkness. This, combined with the blissfully hazy signature sound of the band, put the audience in a euphoric trance.
The beautiful vocals of singer Victoria Legrand stole the show, with her lovely notes drifting gently through the dark room. Guitarist Alex Scally stood by her side, and although he was mostly shrouded by darkness, his melancholy guitar wailed wantonly throughout the set. They played some fan favorites from their previous albums, such as the haunting “Gila,” as well as many songs from their much-hailed third album, Teen Dream. The songs “Used to Be,” “Zebra” and “Silver Soul” stood out during their set, showing that they’ve brought a certain something to their newest album and put a fresh twist on their familiar sound.
Beach House is continuing their tour across the US, with more sold out shows lined up this week in Texas, before making their way to the east coast, and then departing for Europe. For more information on Beach House and their tour schedule, check out their Myspace page.
(Editor’s note: The video below is pretty dark due to the lighting mentioned in the piece above, but the audio quality is pretty darn good!)