Beach House @ Fillmore, SF 4/16/13
Beach House“s show at the Fillmore San Francisco was slightly shorter than their obelisk-exploding spectacle at Fox Theater Oakland in September (yeah we were there too), but was no less epic.
When we last saw Holy Shit, they were ODing on reverb, droning their compositions into oblivion. They”ve clearly learned some tricks from touring mates past (DIIV, Wild Nothing) and present. Dressed in disheveled preppie/hippie/military garb, the trio churned out a calming salve of electro yacht rock. They improved before our eyes within the set itself, culminating in an intoxicating surf post-punk closer.
Baltimore”s reigning monarchs of rustic, futuristic pop took the stage to Prince“s “The Beautiful Ones.” From the cacophonous welcome they received, one would assume the people were expecting pyrotechnics and pelvic thrusts. Beach House didn”t move their bodies much, but their spell-binding oeuvre more than compensated for it.
Angular draperies and a twinkly backdrop were accentuated by light cues perfectly instep with Daniel Franz”s
effortless time-keeping. Even though Alex Scally spent half the evening crouched in shadows and smoke, the melodies emanating from his Stratocaster consistently sparkled. Victoria Legrand”s fingers clawed at her keys and our chests. Her huskier instrument crawled under the last lines of phrases and levitated them long after they should have returned to Earth. Legrand even field-tested the Fillmore”s mythic acoustics just by speaking “I don”t even need a microphone.”
New classics “Teen Dream” and “Bloom” evenly dominated the setlist. Scally “aah”ed in all the right places, but during the “more… you want more” climax of “Walk in the Park,” the audience proved to be the loudest backup vocalists. Prototypical numbers from Devotion were necessary breathers for fans who”d gotten sweaty from swaying.
“Did we push you away?” Legrand worried after “On The Sea,” mistaking reverence for reservation. Commenting on a Michael Jackson pinball machine they saw in Vegas reminded us that these haunted carnival ride musicians were still mortal. Before “Zebra,” Legrand removed her leather jacket, revealing a glittery second skin that shimmered even more against a solitary Fresnel. Cuddling and thrashing through the same song were par for the course. Nearly every selection could soundtrack homecoming dances and wedding receptions. “Irene” was the hair-whipping finale, an emblem of the “strange paradise” repeatedly referred to, one where soft is the new heavy.
Check out all awesome photos from the night HERE.