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When explaining the music of Beach House, it’s hard to come up with anything better than “dream pop”. The group has both invented and perfected the niche genre, and Victoria LeGrand and Alex Scally (with excellent touring drummer Daniel Franz in tow) took their act to The Wilbur in Boston’s theater district last night, giving a house full of sleepy hipsters a reason to bob their head. Bringing back their signature less light, more music philosophy, the band soldiered through fifteen of their dreamy hits after openers Poor Moon left the stage.
Lead singer Victoria LeGrand’s voice carried the show through several technical difficulties with ease, and she comforted the audience in her off-kilter way while the band reset. “They say every time there’s an awkward silence an angel gets its wings. Not that you have to be religious or anything,” she added. For the majority of the show, the group kept the talking to a minimum and focused on the fifteen-song set, a mix of nine new tracks from this year’s Bloom and a heavy focus on their breakout third album, 2010’s Teen Dream. Although tracks from their earlier efforts were conspicuously missing, their third and fourth albums showcase the band at their absolute best—Bloom feels like a continuation of the lucid style established in Teen Dream, and songs like “Silver Soul” flowed easily into new tracks like “The Hours”. The stage was backed with a twinkling black sky-screen and two striped glass panels that backlit the band as LeGrand pounded on the piano, bangs and hair flying everywhere. The bright blues and reds washed across the audience as the band continued to play in the dark, wrapping everyone up in their teen dream.
This five-week “Frightened Eyes” tour (a ripped lyrics from “The Hours”) is Beach House’s biggest solo touring effort since being signed to Sub Pop for Teen Dream’s release in 2010, and has spanned the entire country. From their early days in the late 2000’s opening for Vampire Weekend, the group has taken on a cult following all its own more than ever with Bloom, one of the top indie sellers of the year. Live music at The Wilbur is always a gamble—the space is far better suited to comedy and performance and the area opens to standing room is decidedly small, but Beach House’s style complimented the theater well. Their music is such that whether standing or sitting in the tiers above, a steady head bob is all you need to keep with the pace.
When the band concluded their regular set with Bloom single “Myth”, the audience took a collective moment before screaming for an encore. It’s the nature of the show — it was the first break in sound in over an hour, and the whole head-nodding crowd needed to emerge if only for a moment. The trio returned for an encore of Teen Dream hit “10 Mile Stereo” and new audience favorite “Irene”, leaving the Wilbur full of dazed, buzzing fans. If their four albums weren’t proof enough, Beach House’s “Frightened Eyes” cement them as one of the most unique, atmospheric groups out there that’s finally getting a little well-earned attention.