That’s the question I asked myself after listening to their most recent album, “Bloom.” To me, this fourth outing represents a culmination of everything I thought Beach House had been working to create.
Victoria Legrand’s pristine vocals soar over some of the most beautiful soundscapes they’ve played to date. First single “Myth” was on repeat for days in my Spotify player.
I hadn’t seen them live before, so when I heard they were coming to Omaha Oct. 8 I knew I had to go and catch the band riding this creative wave.
While the music excites me, I wasn’t expecting much of a visual element to the Beach House show. I assumed it would be a simple light show with the band sitting behind their instruments.
This is where I was at least partly wrong.
The three touring band members mostly focused on their instruments, but they employed an elaborate light show to give the songs a drama and visual element that was quite impressive.
In fact, I’d say it is one of the best light shows I’ve ever witnessed.
The band didn’t interact much with the crowd, but my feelings weren’t hurt. I know the group likes to put the focus on the music.
Apparently, not everyone felt this way.
Michael Todd of Hearnebraska.org found the band downright offensive:
Halfway through what was an enjoyable haunted house aesthetic — with greens, purples and reds falling onto the dark stage to backdrop the equally enjoyable, silvery and well-defined set of songs — Legrand asked that the minimal house lights be snuffed out because the audience was feeling too self-conscious. Thank you, Legrand, for understanding the feelings of a packed house of complicated people. On their records, Beach House advances fluidly through the ebb and flow of their grand, melodic music because they don’t get to speak, emote with careless gestures or show their true selves through their actions. In person, the in-between-songs demands, the one-song encore and the refusal to allow detachable-lens cameras disfigures their beautiful work.
Read the rest of the review here.
When Legrand asked management to turn off some of the minimal lighting around the edges of The Slowdown, I didn’t see it as a pompous or gratuitous action. Instead, I thought she was doing the fans a favor and heightening the atmosphere for the show.
Additionally, I found the band, while shy, to have an entirely pleasant stage demeanor. Strangely, one of the most expressive human elements was Legrand’s hair. It often covered her face, but she occasionally whipped it around in a frenzy.
When I read Todd’s review, I had to wonder if we had been at the same show. To each their own, I guess.
I did catch a couple songs on video for my readers:
Here is the pretty cool video for “Lazuli”: