The venue for many great indie band successes, Spaceland, birthed another incredible act on Tuesday: Beach House. The Baltimore, Maryland duo has recently released their second album “Devotion,” which is gaining a significant “hipster” following. The Spaceland venue is known for giving performers such as Beck, Foo Fighters and The White Stripes their start. Beach House is on their way to becoming yet another great band to play within the walls of Spaceland. They recently returned from a tour in Europe, and carried a flavor of ‘60s to their performance, which was nothing less than a full psychedelic trip.
Beach House is lead by female vocalist Victoria Legrand. Legrand’s lyrics were immersed in the sweeping harmonies of her voice, often sounding more like incantations. She also played on a vintage keyboard that sounded like a church organ. The organ echoed through the melancholy world of Spaceland, resonating with the audience of this sold-out show. The pre-choruses of Legrand’s songs were simplistic, sometimes consisting of only two words repeated in unison. The words projected a refreshing taste of unconsciousness. Legrand fronted the band incredibly from behind her organ, making remarks about prosperity and politics in between songs. Her accompaniment consisted of Beach House’s co-creator Alex Scally on guitar. Scally’s oscillating slide guitar and Legrand’s meditative vocals culminate in a genre called ‘narcotized rock’.
Beach House is reminiscent of The Velvet Underground’s seductive pulses and trailing guitars. Legrand’s voice is reminiscent of Nico, who sang with the Underground in the presence of Andy Warhol and the gritty downtown Manhattan music scene of the ‘60s. Beach House was backlit by low blue lights throughout the show. You could only see the outline of the band, until they started waving black lights on stage.
At the end of the hour-long set everyone in the audience fell silent, like they were truly in a trance. An hipster blond whispered, “I have never taken acid, but I would imagine this is what it feels like.”
Steer clear of the substance, and take a listen to Beach House instead.