Beach House made a stop at College Street Music Hall in New Haven, CT for their Once Twice Melody World Tour. This time joining the stage was Los Angeles-based harpist Mary Lattimore.
Lattimore opened the show with her collection of songs, relying solely on her harp and loop pedal. With the loop pedal, she stacked multiple melodic lines from her harp, creating a plucking concoction. The technology and harpist’s techniques were impressive. Though, after the first song, the audience began to lose attention, with many talking over Lattimore’s performance. To the ears within this type of venue, the sounds of numerous plucks reverberating within the hall sounded like…well…just noise. Although, Lattimore was unable to gain the audience’s attention, her songs were met by applause. Nevertheless, Lattimore’s works belong in beautiful film montages.
Beach House opened their set with “Once Twice Melody”, an absolute banger of an intro. The deep sub-bass arpeggios penetrated and transported souls through space and time. They were like three aliens descending onto Earth, with Victoria Legrand on keys and vocals, Alex Scally on guitar and bass, and James Barone on drums. The band also performed “New Romance” off of the new album. Yet, most of the song choice included their most popular songs as ranked on Spotify: “Silver Soul” (Teen Dream), “Myth” (Bloom), “PPP” (Depression Cherry), and “Wildflower” (Depression Cherry). From Bloom, they also performed “Lazuli” and “On the Sea”. From their album 7, they performed “Lemon Glow”, a song with a haunting and distorting chord progression. And from Depression Cherry, Beach House performed “Levitation” and of course their most popular release “Space Song”.
While this song selection seems diverse by drawing from their previous works, the sound of the overall show was stagnant. Many of the songs had a pulsing melody, which is good. However, the only song that broke away from the copy-paste lineup was the calmer ambiance of “On the Sea”. Most of Beach House’s discography is one-dimensional, and this is a positive attribute when listening to their albums as a cohesive work. However, for concerts, a more diverse lineup needs to be created so that there are moments in the show that peak and valley in energy. The artists interacted and spoke to the crowd a couple of times, and for the entire show, they remained in their designated stations.
Audience & Venue
Speaking of stagnant, let’s discuss the crowd. As important as the performance is, the energy from the audience has to be evaluated in the experience, too. This audience was the most stagnant and unenthused audience. Nobody moved except maybe five bodies in that sold-out show. While I respect those who enjoy without expression, having a mass of people who do not react to the performance is very unsettling and uncomfortable. As for the venue, this is the largest small concert venue that I have experienced. The venue held close to 600 people. Because I am an appreciator of small and more intimate concerts, this venue was a bit to big for my liking. Nevertheless, the multiple tiers in General Admission created an amphitheater effect that is more favorable for viewing the stage.
The lights were the most impressive aspect of the show. Bravo to the light designers and engineers. Each second was filled with vibrant colors shining at multiple angles. The projector in the background accentuated and followed the musical beats. Every color of the rainbow made an appearance that night. This concert made me intensely appreciate light design for the first time.
The graphic design on t-shirts are absolutely beautiful. The colors schemes rely on black, white, light pink, and red. The graphics occupy the full space in the front and back, and they have elements of tarot card designs. The merch is worth investing.
Overall Rating: 6/10
This mediocre rating is more based in systemic factors than the artists themselves. The opener did not fit the audience demographic, and song lineup lacked in tonal variety. The audience’s attitude sucked. Nevertheless, props to the light and sound engineers, the performers, and graphic designers. The aesthetic was a 10/10. Cheers to Once Twice Melody, and cheers to future albums releases and tours!