Beyond the usual elements of a concert, Beach House live is an experience engaging all senses, as witnessed by their fans at The Vogue Theatre on Saturday night.
In town playing two shows, including their mysterious installation show on Sunday night, Beach House’s Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have enthralled crowds for over a decade. Having experienced their live performance at Coachella a few years ago, it was clear to me this was a show not to be missed this weekend. From Legrand’s lustrous, deep, Nico-like voice (Nico of the Velvet Underground), a Beach House performance is unpredictable, dark, moody, and it’s one that takes the audience places beyond the walls of the venue.
Saturday night was no exception, die-hard and new fans alike were in a state of trance as the duo created endless magic on stage. The Baltimore, MD, natives released their fifth studio album Depression Cherry in 2015, and followed it with a surprise release of a second album just a few months later, Thank Your Lucky Stars. Often described as dream pop, from the start of their set, the audience was in a place full of enchantment with “Levitation” and their 2010 hit “Walk In The Park.”
Continuing to keep us spellbound, the duo’s mix of new tracks and old favourites kept the crowd’s focus on stage. Beach House is known for their simplistic, yet melodic sounds. Using minimal instruments, their layerings of lyrics and notes are transformed into non-genre specific music, yet the harmonized sounds are satisfying to the senses. As the show continued, the crowd felt deeper and deeper immersed into the show, and phones were barely out to Snapchat – something rarely seen at concerts these days. Behind the band, a minimalist stage set up with floating stars completed the evening’s mood. “Thank you for bringing the vibes, y’all,” said Legrand midway through the set, adding that Vancouver has “always been a good place vibes wise.”
Beach House’s sound is haunting, even aesthetically their show is dark in nature, with the lighting barely showing the faces of Legrand and Scally. But their show isn’t about image or lights and stage setups. Beach House is all about the music, and being lost in the moment through their dreamy melodies. Whether you know the lyrics or not, their sounds are bound to pull on strings of emotions. And seeing Beach House live is just that. It’s an emotionally complex experience that will engage you to the core, leaving you questioning whether this was a concert or an art experience.
Photos for Vancity Buzz provided by Brandon Artis. Connect with him at @_brandonartis.