“We haven’t been to Austin in almost four years,” Alex Scally reminisced to the sold-out crowd at ACL Live on Monday night. The dark dream-pop duo from Baltimore had, in fact, played an installation show the night before at Brazos Hall, for only a select few. Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally may need multiple shows to breach all of the worthwhile material from their two most recent albums, Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars, while still playing older favorites. The Moody Theater was packed full and the room felt small as the intimate atmosphere consumed the crowd throughout Beach House’s 16-song set.
The Chamanas were an interesting and appealing opener. The quintet sang gravitating and romantic songs in Spanish that sprung from the vein of the Beach House sound, but ultimately added their own dramatic and beautiful narrative.
Beach House opened with songs “Levitation” and “Walk In The Park” as their momentum began to build gradually. The crowd kept colorful glowing balloons bouncing above their heads, and the dimly lit stage framed the band that emitted blissfully melancholic waves in a ethereal aesthetic.
Songs from the album Depression Cherry seemed to rile the crowd the most, with “PPP”, “Beyond Love” and “Sparks” receiving warm applause of recognition. Perhaps it was Victoria Legrand, a mysterious chanteuse who guides the crowd in and out of darkness with her striking vocals.
Songs from previous albums like “Wishes”, “Myth”, and “Silver Soul” brought back nostalgia, and Texas brought back memories for Victoria, says, “The thing I love most about Texas is the sky, it’s beautiful. I can’t see the stars in Baltimore.”
Having recently seen Lamb of God, Anthrax and Iggy Pop in the ACL Moody Theater, Monday night felt universes away from the venue I am familiar with. Beach House masterfully paired their stage setup, showmanship, and set list for an alien experience that denied the concert-goer any tether to reality. Comfortably immersed in the somber soundscapes of this talented Baltimore duo, one can learn how to listen to music in a new way.