with Louie, Louie
The Beacham; Orlando, FL • May 26, 2017
by Jen Cray
If a band plays on a dark stage and you can’t see them, are they really there? Such was the implied question at the supremely sold-out Beach House show. Going more for aura and effect through sound alone, darkness was the unspoken fourth member of the Beach House touring band (core members Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally are joined by drummer James Barone, formerly of Tennis ). While I would have preferred a bit more visual stimuli, other than the occasional blue or red light, backlit strobe, or star effect on the plain backdrop that framed them, that music was served on a mostly blank canvas. Which, I must admit, is damn bold and admittedly appropriate for a band as dreamy in visceral pop wonder as Beach House.
Also bold, slipping into their set a handful of lesser known songs (off of their newly released B-sides and Rarities). Fearless, otherworldly, and nonconformist in their performance art approach to owning a space — a Beach House concert is quite a demanding thing. It demands the audience to experience not just the music but the space that surrounds it. Almost like they wish that you could read the book of their live show rather than show up and watch it.
Makes me wonder how much they must loathe the insistent iPhone video recordings. There was a very strict “no flash photography” policy for the show, but not much can be done about those persistent phone fondlers.
Opening the night was retro psychedelic pop group, Louie Louie. These four girls may call Philadelphia home, but I wonder from what decade it is that they come from! Tapping into the cosmic grooves of Jefferson Airplane and the Friday night dance harmonies of 60’s girl groups, these ladies were a wonderfully colorful and perky contrast to the midnight musings that were soon to follow.