Beach House & Papercuts (not really) at 9:30 Club

Good shows are out there pretty frequently. Great shows are hard to come by. But everyone that was at 9:30 Club last night to see Beach House saw a great show and what might be my top show 2011 so far. Everything was perfect. The sound, the lights, the people (for the most part). Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally absolutely put on a show for the paying customers of Washington, D.C.

Due to some travel fiascos (aka a bus accident and a 15-minute wait for the Metro and then waiting for will call and in line to get in) I didn’t make it to 9:30 Club until after 11 and caught the last song of Papercuts set, which sounded exactly how it did on the album which is to say alright. Nothing spectacular, but not awful.

My friends and I pushed up and we finally reached a spot with good sightlines even though we were pretty far back, until that annoying girl that was faced sideways with the huge obnoxious bag showed up, but we made our way around her. The triangles were set up on stage, the lights dimmed and then it was on.

The set was nearly flawless. The band opened with “Gila” and “Better Times,” and then stuff got crazy. In the coolest pictures of Beach House that I had seen before, the triangles behind them glowed green, and to be honest, that’s all I wanted to see, because that’s what I think of when I imagine Beach House live. Then for the third song, the hue changed to green and Scally, Legrand and the drummer launched into “Walk In The Park,” my favorite song from Teen Dream. I lost it. It was so beautiful. The guitar and vocal tones were absolutely perfect and there was nothing I could do. One word: tears.

But it somehow got even better. Right after “Walk In The Park,” the band launched into “Norway,” and dozens of little lights in the back wall covering started blinking and twinkling, like the night sky. I’m not the biggest fan of “Norway,” but it is indeed a pretty song, and the setting only added to that. The band kept going through Teen Dream staples with the occasional oldie like “Master of None” thrown in, which was so good. After the band played “Zebra,” they broke out a new song that had such a full sound with the use of toms in the drums, a changeup from the usual machine-based drumming. I look forward to that song in its final version.

After “Heart of Chambers” and “Take Care,” the band disappeared for a little longer encore break than I’ve experienced recently, before coming back for a flawless encore of “Real Love” and “10 Mile Stereo.” When the drums slowly crescendo on “10 Mile Stereo,” I lost it again. The light show was just superb for the show, and made everything twice as awesome as it would have been normally.

Plus, it was one of the best D.C. crowds I’ve experienced in a long, long time. Besides the annoying girl with the big bag, the couple making out for the duration of the set and people clapping along with “10 Mile Stereo,” there were so many people having a good time, especially all those dudes in the middle of 9:30 losing it to every single song the band played. Legrand even took the time to call it the best crowd they’d ever played for in Washington, D.C.

But all good things must come to an end, and this show was one of them. It just makes me unable to wait for the next great show I stumble across. Could it be this week? We’ll see.

NOTE: These pictures are pretty meh, but Jimmy from Head Underwater is sure to have some AWESOME pics up tomorrow, so stay tuned. In the meantime, grab this awesome background from him. I did.

–Daniel

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