RECAP / PHOTOS: Beach House with Dustin Wong @ Tipitina’s Uptown – 9/18/12

Let me start off by saying that I realize  blew the lid off good ole Tipitina’s this past Tuesday night, and it is now Saturday afternoon… However, I feel like I just finished sleepwalking through the days in between then and now, whatever they were, and I woke up not a second ago in a dreamy fog with a vaguely familiar hum in my ears. So I wouldn’t be surprised if you were right there with me, and thus, I humbly ask you to stop what you’re doing, plug some  into your auditory canals, and take a stroll with me down that lonely beach in your mind to a better place, not more than a Tuesday away.

Beach House @ Tipitina’s – 9/18/12 || Photo by © Michael Wren

That night began the way any weekday night at Tip’s should – with a cold Abita in hand and the hypnotizing pluck, twang, strum of guitar in ear. The equally complex and soothing sounds alternately tapping you softly on the shoulder like a new acquaintance and slapping you on the back like an old friend are the musical musings of Mr. . You don’t want to stop listening, but don’t you worry about that because he doesn’t want to stop playing. And I could be wrong here, but it feels like at least one song lasts for well nigh eight minutes before he gives his supremely gifted phalanges a break. For the finale, he takes to his feet and begins “Diagonally Talking Echoes”, the last song from his new album Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads. After keeping us transfixed, snared within the layers of his melodious loops, he breathes a magical incantation to release us. The chant ends and we are free. He waves goodbye and disappears off stage, probably to wander somewhere we cannot follow.

Dustin Wong @ Tipitina’s – 9/18/12 || Photo by © Michael Wren

Did I mention its packed in here. Beach House is about to walk out to a sold out show at Tipitina’s, and there is no way I can claw my way any closer past the wall of eager boys and girls intently waiting for the room to start vibrating. Nonetheless, after a short intermission the lights drop low, real low, and shadows emerge from the wings to raucous applause. As soon as the keyboardist with the golden tongue, , opens her lithium lips, we are struck dumb by a rogue wave of intoxicating vocals and the gossamer beats of guitar-wielding bandmate  and drummer . The crowd seems to pitch and toss along to every song, awash in a sea of steam and palpable sultriness. Tipitina’s has transformed into a shadowy warehouse – sparingly illuminated except for an odd spotlight from behind or twinkling lights above – full of resolute sound and hushed fury.

I’ve only seen Beach House once before, outside in the midday Austin sun, and as much as I was taken by the crisp catchiness that punctuates breakout album Teen Dream, I was somewhat underwhelmed at the time. Now, those feeling are afloat somewhere a million miles from here as the room echoes with every siren song. Victoria’s surname means the large one in French, which must all but certainly signify her vocal talents. The set consists of a pleasing mix of new and old, and I can’t help but think that new album  proves lightning can strike twice if you find a way to bottle it. I am particularly excited to hear new track “Other People”, a beautifully melancholy lament on slowly losing touch despite ourselves.

 

As the show winds down, Victoria and Alex get a little more talkative between tunes, urging the crowd to get a little rowdy, “I wanna hear a yea, like from the bottom of your guts. Common, I’m trying to circulate a chi.” And when they play “10 Mile Stereo” during the encore, unquestionably my favorite Beach House song, that’s exactly what they are getting from me: a guttural roar of pleasure. I know you feel it too. Throughout the entire show, I have the distinct feeling that people don’t give Beach House enough credit for how primal their sound is at heart. For a band named after a presumably man-made edifice, their music from Teen Dream and now Bloom reminds me more of the natural forces that coalesce to destroy the temporal structures built at the edges of their sandy domain.

 

As a final note, right before the encore, Victoria remarked that this show is only the second time they’ve played in New Orleans since 2006. They don’t count the real second time, in 2010, when there were “only, like, eight people there.” Its crazy to think about how far they’ve come in such a short time, because as you probably noticed, there’s a lot more than eight of us here now.

In summary, Beach House + Dustin Wong in two words: TUESDAY? DAMN.

September 22, 2012 |  by  |  Features, Reviews
 
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