beers, bros, and beachouse: my concert experience


by kathrynbrown

art by adeline crosthwait

A couple of weeks ago, I finally had the opportunity to see the only band to ever exist, Beach House. While in recent months I have deemed many songs, albums, etc. as “the only” of their kind, (including but not limited to Cyndi Lauper’s smash hit “All Through the Night” and Deerhunter’s greatest album, Weird Era Cont) I am so goddamn serious that Beach House, is in fact, the only band. This Baltimore-based trio consists of vocalist and keyboardist Victoria Legrand, guitarist and backup vocalist Alex Scally, and drummer Christopher Bear. Having birthed eight flawless albums within their twelve years of existence, ranging from sounds as soothing and sweetly narcotic as their self-titled album to the nostalgic dreamy sounds of Teen Dream to 2015’s trance-inducing Depression Cherry to their hypnotic newest masterpiece 7, Beach House has produced a near perfect discography which seems to be the perfect soundtrack to my life.

I distinctly remember the first time I listened to Beach House as a first-year in high school, coming across their most popular song at the time, “Myth,” and immediately deeming it boring and too soft. Little did I know that just three years later I would be a depressed senior in high school listening to “Levitation” off of Depression Cherry on repeat in the dark in bed, stewing in my seemingly never-ending loneliness and dread. The first year of college brought new friends, and pretending to smoke in the dorms with said friends while listening to Teen Dream was the peak of fun (it arguably still is). I have continued to listen to BH obsessively throughout college, and have recently gotten a tattoo (sketched by the water tower’s own wonderful Andrew Salerno) of a somber looking cherry above my elbow in honor of Depression Cherry.

Needless to say, I have had an undying urge to see Beach House live for years, but every time they went on tour I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. As my dear friend and fellow BH stan, Addie, and I were bodying pinot grigio at an astounding rate on Valentine’s Day, Beach House surprise released Lemon Glow, a song that hinted at a new shift in their sound as they partnered with Panda Bear and MGMT producer Peter Kember, better known as Sonic Boom. Just under 3 months later, BH dropped 7, their heaviest-sounding album yet. At this point, they had already announced a tour, to which my friends and I had already bought tickets.

Summer flew by and it was about time for my friends and I to go to Boston to see Beach House. There was so much buildup to this event that my body in effect went numb, and as I entered the House of Blues I found myself praying to the setlist gods that BH would play “Walk in the Park.” It was to my dismay that there was in fact an opener despite not being included on any advertising for the show. Thus, my transit vodka Gatorade was in effect useless as I had to sit through an entire set of not Beach House in order to maintain my spot near the front. For some reason I had also failed to consider the entire subculture of concertgoers consisting of men in their late twenties who can afford to spend $60 on bands they don’t know and proceed to get obscenely drunk during the show. It appeared that I was suddenly surrounded by hundreds of men dressed in J. Crew from head to toe who held their Harpoon IPAs with the same intent one would hold their first born child. The combined power of hyper-masculinity and beer compelled may of them to yell things along the lines of “Is this Beach House?” during the opener, “Is this song in French?” during “L’Inconnue,” a song consisting of mostly French words, and actual screams when the most popular BH song was played. While these squids could in no way take away the sensation that caused what was left of my vodka Gatorade to reverse osmosis out of my pores and into the reverberating sound waves during Beach House’s set, I felt somehow offended that someone could only sort of like BH, and definitely considered using my cherry-tattooed elbow as a weapon. 

The show went as expected, during which I felt as though I was projected into the next galaxy by Victoria’s beautifully raspy voice paired with Alex’s trance-inducing guitar melodies. It was all that I asked for and more as I left feeling unable to effectively communicate with anyone for the next few days. I have no idea what Beach House’s next move will be as they seem to have hit every base that they possibly could have hit with each consecutive album, but I am excited to see what their future holds and to (hopefully) be surrounded by frequenters of Beach House Reddit rather than unappreciative young businessmen next time I see them live.

Categories: adeline crosthwait, around town, art, kathryn brown


%d bloggers like this: