Monday, 15 October 2012

Beach House- Live at Kool Haus

Midway through Beach House's concert at the Kool Haus in Toronto on Saturday night, singer Victoria Legrand proudly proclaimed that this was the 12th time the dream pop duo have played Toronto. At that point I thought to myself, why the hell is the first time I've seen them in concert. A lot of conflicts and missed opportunities.

Show openers were the folk rock band Poor Moon, who count Christian Wargo and Casey Westcott of Fleet Foxes among their ranks. When Wargo was on vocals, the group sounded similar to Fleet Foxes and they shared many of the same attributes that make that band so good. They played a solid set even though they were sort of sarcastic when they tried to converse with the timid crowd.

The Beach House gig in Toronto has long been anticipated and the city rewarded the duo by selling out the large warehouse space that is known as the Kool Haus. Even though the pair have been touring since last May they did not look the least bit tired.

Normally when you write something about a concert you would talk about the band's instrumentation and discuss the guitar playing or the drummer etc. In this case, the guitars and drumming were an after thought as the band kept the noise to a respectable level of decibels to showcase Legrand's big beautiful voice. The 2 hour set featured most of the songs from their brilliant new album Bloom mixed with a healthy dose of hits from previous albums. Legrand's vocals soared through the cavernous space on crowd favourites like Norway, Lazuli, Zebra and Myth, while Alex Scally complimented her voice with his jangly guitar and newly added drummer Daniel Franz backed the duo with his intense tribal drumming.

As mentioned earlier, Legrand stated that this was their 12th appearance in Toronto and reminisced, with the help of Scally, about playing earlier gigs at the El Mocambo and Tranzac. They also thanked Kensington music store Paul's Boutique for providing the piano for that evening's show.

The highlight of the concert came in the encore when they played the epic Teen Dream track Ten Mile Stereo. As the song reached a crescendo, Legrand could be seen behind a fog of dry ice and blinding flashing lights playing her keyboards like a mad scientist, her voice never wavering. The performance of that song sent chills down my spine. So good....

Set List:
Water in the Park
Other People
Take Care
Silver Soul
The Hours
On the Sea
New Year

Real Love/Turtle Island
10 Mile Stereo

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