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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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The beauty of Beach House flawlessly displayed last night at The Pabst Theater

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A white light beam spills upon you, completely solid in brightness and force, yet with the sensation that it is moving, swooning you to swim in it. Dizzying twinkles in the background give a new awareness that you're really floating in space, dipping in and out of bursting nebulas of every color Roy G. Biv has to offer. Spinning fans and striped rectangles add geometrics to the array, silhouetting the mystical artists that lie before you. Such was the stage setting and feeling at Beach House's show last night at The Pabst Theater.

The lights were meticulously produced and certainly practiced, and true to Beach House fashion where geometrics and smoky space voyages are common among their slew of music videos, particularly for "Lazuli," a track on their latest record "Bloom." They were dazzling and effervescent, which matched the tunes for that night.

I sat at the very top tier of the Pabst Theater, as it was packed on the ground and second floors. Part of me was not expecting such a turnout, but it was their third time now at the Pabst, and with such acclaim for "Bloom" I don't know why I expected a small crowd. As far as I could tell, everyone was loving the music and Beach House was loving the response. According to lead singer Victoria Legrand, we set a new standard for awesome audiences. She questioned and commented at one point: "Did you guys, like, all go out to dinner before this or something? I feel like you all know each other. You're all so friendly and welcoming... very groovy."

So with a packed theater, everyone, both audience and performer alike, got the Milwaukee live love. And since it was at the Pabst, sitting top-tier nosebleed was just as fine as anywhere else, because the sound was incredibly filling. But this is really primarily due to what may be the 'new' Beach House, post-Bloom (or rather, having 'fully blossomed'). Their new tracks that debuted in May use more instruments; all of this was translated live, and added also to their older stuff (see setlist below). So the dream-pop ballads weren't just a light mist that you could sway to, but rather became a thick fog you had to dance through. It felt good to inhale that air. And even though it was all set in the genre of a 'dream', it sure did feel real.

They played songs mostly from Bloom and Teen Dream, all of which showcase Legrand's voice (my friend who I went with thought that it was a male lead-singer all along, so it was great to see her get the shock of her life / also further note Legrand's uniqueness in this respect) and the newfound cohesiveness of the group. Everything was smooth and seemingly flawless start to finish, minus two twitches in technical mishaps with mic feedback, and surprisingly ended with a big bang instead of an expected lingering of softness. "Irene," the final track on "Bloom" ends with a heavy mix of all instruments, which had Victoria's long, bushy hair not just sweeping her keyboard, but flipping up and down, up and down following her head-bangs. Everyone on stage was giving their all to finish off the encore and the night, and the effort certainly did not go unnoticed. Overall I think perhaps the third time is indeed the charm, but we want Beach House to come back again for more.

SETLIST:

Wild
Walk in the Park
Norway
Heart of Chambers
Other People
Lazuli
Used to Be
Silver Soul
The Hours
Turtle Island
New Year
Zebra
Wishes
Myth
10 Mile Stereo

Real Love
Irene

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woraz13 | Oct. 12, 2012 at 9:13 a.m. (report)

Great review of an amazing show. Thanks.

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