Beach House Wow at Album Release Show

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Beach House / Photo by William Goodman
WRITTEN BY
William Goodman

It's the trajectory of a band on the rise.

For their just released third album, the SPIN-praised Teen Dream, Baltimore dream-pop outfit Beach House signed with indie heavyweight Sub Pop; worked with Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV on the Radio's go-to man Chris Coady; made their late-night TV debut; and Tuesday, celebrated with a gig at Brooklyn's venue du jour Bell House, as Kate Winslet and members of Vampire Weekend, Dirty Projectors, and Cold War Kids watched on.

Commit it to memory, people -- you'll be hearing lots about Beach House in 2010.

Over 70-minutes and 12 songs, the music came on warm and woozy under the soft red, blue, and green lights of glowing stage props that looked like little fir trees. "Walk in the Park" started with pulsing keys and built to a free-fall of guitar melodies, courtesy of Alex Scally, dressed like a dandy in tight black trousers, a pea coat, and shoulder-length locks.

Another set highlight "Silver Soul" saw singer Victoria Legrand step out as indie sex goddess. A more conservative frontwoman just last May at Sasquatch! fest, she's now in black-eyeliner, red lipstick, and jet-black tights and a slim-cut cardigan, hitting the catchy and high vocal hooks, and stomping her black ankle boots in time.

The three-piece -- also featuring live drummer Dan Franz -- recreated the ambient quality of Teen Dream live, save for sole hiccup "Better Times," which sounded flat compared to its studio version. Others -- "Used to Be," "10 Mile Stereo" -- all stirred with gliding guitar riffs and Legrand's underwater keys and carrying vocals. Even one of the set's few older tracks, 2008's "Gila," sounded a bit revamped

The high-point: Another newbie, "Zebra."

It was the loudest song of the night, with Franz shifting from the tambourine to frantic cymbol smashing. Then the tune swelled and burst in a collision of keys as Legrand howled: Anyway you run! You run before us! Black and white horses marching among us!!!

It was powerful, gorgeous, unforgettable.

Beach House set-list:
"Festival"
"Walk in the Park"
"Norway"
"Better Times"
"Gila"
"Used to Be"
"Silver Soul"
"Lover of Mine"
"Heart of Chambers"
"Zebra"
"Take Care"

Encore:
"10 Mile Stereo"

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