Sunday, 22 July 2012

Best Coast- Live at The Phoenix

On Saturday afternoon Bethany Cosentino of the band Best Coast sent out a tweet stating "Toronto tonight at The Phoenix! Doors open at 8, come sweat with us." Voila!!! I had my plans for the night.

I arrived at The Phoenix at 9 o'clock just in time to see openers Those Darlins. Those Darlins are a garage band from Nashville Tennessee and are made up of two guys and two girls. The band played a raucous 45 minute set of garage and punk songs. A favourite among their set was a fun song called Pussy can imagine what that song was about. I was sold on this band and was wondering why they have not worked with Jack White's Third Man Records. They seem like a perfect fit to work with Jack.

After a half and hour break, Best Coast came on stage promptly at 10:15. Against a backdrop of a mural that contained the album artwork from their latest LP (see above) they started the concert with the songs The End, Crazy For You and Goodbye from their debut album Crazy For You. Having seen Best Coast twice before I knew that singer Bethany Cosentino likes to be very engaged with the crowd. It didn't take her long to berate the audience for being quiet and inactive, wondering why there were not more people dancing. She then backtracked on her statement saying that she was a lousy dancer and probably wouldn't be moving much either. The rest of the first set consisted of their trademark lo-fi sunshine pop and angst driven love ballads- a mixture of songs from both Crazy For You and their new album The Only Place. Bethany apologized for playing a couple of ballads but I don't think the audience minded. Later Bethany had to check on the status of her partner, the ever popular guitarist Bob Bruno, as he seemed to working up a good sweat. She then gave a shout out to Bob which resulted in a huge roar from the appreciative crowd. The rapport between Bethany and Bob was fun to watch as Bethany took several playful jabs at Bob. Also she had to introduce their touring bass player who is from Toronto. She donned his baseball cap for a couple of seconds to more thunderous applause. I believe the hat may have been a Blue Jays cap but I was too far back from the stage to confirm.

After a thirteen song opening set the band were ready for an encore. The encore started with the song I Want To from their album Crazy For You. Near the end of the song a long haired dude jumped on the stage and started dancing to which Bethany exclaimed "That was fucking awesome." The encore included a cover of the Fleetwood Mac song Storms from the forthcoming tribute album Just Tell Me That You Want Me. Even though the band have played it several times over the last couple of weeks, including on the Jimmy Fallon show, Bethany forgot some of the lyrics. Oops!! The last two songs of the night were the popular When I'm With You and Boyfriend. The former included a spirited shambolic guitar solo by the aforementioned Mr. Bruno which resulted in another deafening cheer from the audience.

As mentioned earlier I have seen Best Coast twice before and this is by far their best concert. The first concert I saw them play was at The Great Hall during NXNE a couple of years ago and Bethany got pissed after a heckler told them they sucked. They played awesome but Bethany was not very talkative after the incident. Also the sound wasn't very good and Bethany kept asking for updates on the L.A. Laker game who were in the NBA Finals at the time. The second time I same them was also at The Phoenix. That concert was an all ages affair and most of the people were 17 year old skate kids who were there to see indie pop punk band Wavves. Not my scene. I left happier on this night.

Download: Best Coast- The Only Place
Video: Best Coast -I Want To
Purchase: Best Coast- The Only Place via iTunes

There is no song list from the Toronto concert posted yet so I took their set list from the concert in Montreal on Friday night. It looks like it is the same.
Set List:
The End 
Crazy For You 
Last Year 
Summer Mood 
The Only Place 
No One Like You 
How They Want Me To Be 
Why I Cry 
Dreaming My Life Away 
Our Deal
When the Sun Don't Shine
Do You Love Me Like You Used To
I Want To
Sun Was High (So Was I)
Mean Girls
Storms (Fleetwood Mac cover)
When I'm With You

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