On the road supporting their latest release 7, Beach House stopped buy the Palace Theatre in St. Paul on Friday.
Opening the night was Papercuts. Coming on at 9 sharp, the indie pop project of Jason Quever set the tone for the night with astral, theater filling organ. With guitarwork by Quever overlaying the organ chords, the music was uplifting and luminous, with an air of mystery. This created an atmosphere of a warm summer night inside the Palace. The gentle yet refined music greeted the audience as they settled into their spots for the evening. There was little of the chatter typical of a crowd filtering in to a venue as the opener performs. The sound was evocative of the 60’s, yet fresh and mature.
As the house went black, Pink Floyd like keyboard chords swelled from the smokey stage and the mostly subdued audience came alive at the appearance of the band. Keyboardist Victoria Legrand wove a tapestry of multi layered sonorousness though a foggy stage. I was blown away by how much more energized the music was live compared to the recorded versions. Beach House didn’t just make music at the Palace, they created moods and atmospheres. This was music meant to be felt, experienced on a molecular level. The audience was enraptured, there was very little of the idle chit chat that can occur at shows. There was no mosh pit or fist pumping devil horns. Fans cheered between songs but otherwise observed the band in grateful impassivity. The fact that a sold-out crowd could just be in the moment, in communion with the musicians, was mind blowing.
As Legrand grooved with the music, her face obscured by her hair, bandmate Alex Scally laid down luscious guitar riffs. The fretwork on “Sparks” was nothing short of phenomenal, the guy can shred. The three piece band was tight given they played a wide range of the Beach House catalogue. There was an attention to detail, a polish that sometimes gets lost on live performances, that was apparent on the stage Friday night.
The production was minimal, gauzy silhouettes and dreamy lights. The band created wonderful, complex moods that commanded the attention of the audience and made the evening with Beach House magical.