Concert Reviews

Last Night: Beach House and Washed Out at the Granada Theater

Beach House, Washed Out
Granada Theater
April 21, 2010

Better than: Watching vintage Jazzercise clips on YouTube.

As soon as the video screen lifted from the front of the Granada Theater's stage on Wednesday night, all eyes in the room were glued to Victoria Legrand, the lead singer of Baltimore's Beach House.

The setting sure helped: The giant, tinsel-covered Christmas ornaments that served as the band's backdrop sparkled perfectly to frame the most interesting spectacle of all--Legrand's smokey, soulful voice.

The show started slow with the organ-heavy, "Walk In The Park," from the band's newest record, Teen Dream. It was nice, but not great.

Then, about three songs in, it was like the band decided that it was going to try its darndest to put on a great show. And that's exactly what they did.

The audience followed suit as each song garnered more applause than the last. The crescendo reached a peak when Beach House started into "Norway," after which they played a few songs from their 2008 album, Devotion.

Then came a pivotal moment: It seemed like the band was in danger of losing the audience's attention; but then they launched into "Zebra." It was the show stopper--the single song that put everything else back on track. Alex Scally's guitar and Legrand's vocal weaved in and out as the song built into a blissed-out sing-a-long.

To end the night, they played a dense rendition of "10 Mile Stereo," in which Legrand's deep vocals sounded as perfect as the recording. Between her headbanging and Scally's bouncing around the stage, it was obvious that they were lost in the music. And so was the audience.

That's what was so amazing about Beach House's performance. They were able to take an organ, a guitar and some drums, and excite an audience for an hour and a half, despite their slow, melancholy songs. It was almost like they tricked us!

But no one seemed to mind as they filed out onto the Greenville Avenue sidewalk after the show. They had just been rocked, albeit soft-rocked, but rocked nonetheless.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
The handful of people that follow me on Twitter have been the victims of several Beach House epiphanies I've had. I am a pretty huge fan.

By The Way: Opening act Washed Out played an amazing set of bass-pumping dance jams, which is probably what set the dance party in motion early on.

Random Note: People were partying pretty hard for a Wednesday night. There will be hangovers.