After six years of making music, Beach House had its first appearance in Boulder Sunday night. Boulder Theater housed the sold-out stop on their “Frightened Eyes” tour.
The band Poor Moon opened the show for the indie darlings. Although the band played well, the only audience members engaged in the performance were people who, most likely, were fans before the show. Poor Moon had a good set, but Beach House would be the stars of the show.
From left, Beach House members Alex Scally, Victoria Legrand and Daniel Franz perform “Norway” Sunday night at the Boulder Theater for a sold-out crowd. (CU Independent/Avalon Jacka)
Between Poor Moon’s sets, the audience slowly filled the theater, though the crowd never became sardine-packed like most sold-out shows. The audience in the front section might have had more elbow room than their counterparts sitting on the balcony, and the venue trusted its fans enough to not have a barricade between the stage and the audience.
As the lights shut off, the crowd erupted from chatter into loud cheers. Almost instantly, the scent of weed was in the air. Guitarist and back-up vocalist Alex Scally led lead vocalist and keyboardist Victoria Legrand and drummer Daniel Franz onto the dimly backlit stage.
Beach House started the set with “Wild” off the 2012 album, “Bloom.” The 17-song set incorporated many songs from Beach House’s previous albums “Teen Dream,” “Devotion” and “Beach House.” Most in the first mini-set were off the 2010 album, “Teen Dream,” including “Walk in the Park,” “Norway,” “Used To Be” and “Silver Soul.” The first part of the set also included the hit “Gila,” off 2008′s “Devotion.”
After the band’s first break, Beach House played a set consisting of newer songs, including “The Hours,” “Promises,” “Wishes” and “Myth.” Surprisingly, the crowd sang along mostly with these rather than the classics from older albums. The set blended old and new songs, pulling “Real Love,” “Zebra” from “Teen Dream” and “Heart of Chambers” from “Devotion.”
After wrapping up the main set with the latest hit “Myth,” the audience screamed and cheered for the band’s return. After several minutes, Beach House returned to the stage, wrapping up the evening with “10 Mile Stereo” and the epic finale to “Bloom,” “Irene.” “Irene” had the most energy of the night, both from the performers and the audience. Legrand could have easily gotten a spinal injury from her head banging, while Scally nearly bounced off his chair keeping the beat.
The lighting throughout the set helped to convey each song’s mood. From the bright white lighting low to the ground in “Norway” to red strobes during “Wishes,” each color, technique and location of the lighting added to the overall effect of the music. Because the lights rarely shone directly onto Legrand, Scally or Franz, attention was focused mostly on the music rather than the performers.
Legrand never left her piano, nor did Franz leave his drums throughout the whole show. The main movement was Scally keeping the rhythm with every part of his body. Legrand did a lot of hair shaking and flipping, causing her face to be hidden for most of the show, and, even though I was in the first row, I’m still not sure what her face really looks like.
Boulder Theater was the ideal venue for Beach House to play. The acoustics contained Legrand’s alto vocals well, keeping her tone pure throughout the night and avoiding overtones. I did have some trouble understanding the lyrics on songs that I wasn’t familiar with, but the overall tone was still pleasing to listen to. The acoustics balanced vocals, guitar, keys and drums very well. Certain lyrics or guitar licks would stand out more occasionally, but only when the band intended for them to be highlighted.
Contact CU Independent Entertainment Editor Avalon Jacka at Avalon.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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