It was a hot, humid summer night in Philadelphia on Monday, July 16. A sign taped onto the glass box office window at Union Transfer read, “Tonight’s show with Best Coast is SOLD OUT”. Evidenced by those milling about—a woman wearing a floral dress with a 35mm Canon camera dangling from her neck, tall boys wearing other bands’ t-shirts, and slightly intoxicated and tobacco-scented teenage girls re-applying red lipstick in their pocket sized mirrors—this was an indie show. College students and tweens of the greater Philadelphia region anxiously waited inside to see what the west blew in.
DIIV, an indie rock band from Brooklyn, NY opened the show with songs from their album Oshinand a Nirvana cover. With calming blue lights, DIIV set a chill, carefree atmosphere full of effortless head swaying and intense head banging for thirty minutes straight. Those Darlins brought everyone down to their neck of the woods in Nashville, Tennessee for 45 minutes with some of their old-fashioned rock and roll songs like “Screws Get Loose” and “Fun Stix Party”.
By the time Best Coast surfed onto the stage, it was a total sweat fest in the crowd. However, with easy breezy tunes hanging in the air, the temperature simmered down as Best Coast opened with “The End”, transporting the audience from a dark, sweaty venue in North Philadelphia to a bonfire on a beach in Los Angeles, California.
Best Coast’s glistening set lasted over an hour and was a twenty-song bill balanced among tracks from their new album, The Only Place, andtheir first album, Crazy For You, along with a few singles from Make You Mine 7’’ and Something In The Way.
Bethany Consentino looked like a serene Southern California dream under the spotlight in her white sundress, her shoulder-length brown hair swaying while she sang with conviction and strummed the rhythm on her guitar. And she didn’t think twice about making sure everyone paid attention to her multi-instrumentalist partner in musical crime, Bobb Bruno, pulling him out of the shadows to interact with the crowd.
Coasting between swift surf pop tracks such as “The Only Place,” Best Coast managed to slow down with mellow ballads like “How They Want Me To Be”. The instrumental intro into “Our Deal” had a psychedelic vibe to it, with guitar and bass tones so ethereal that the whole concert’s soul left the house and became one with the Pacific’s waves.
Prompted by hysterical chanting, Best Coast returned to the stage for a 5-song encore including “I Want To,” “Sun Was High (So Was I),” and a Fleetwood Mac cover. Saving the best for last, they ended with the song everyone had been waiting all night to hear, “Boyfriend,” to which the audience sang along, word for word.
With so many mixed reviews about the different sound of the new album, Best Coast’s live performance convincingly reassures any doubters that they aren’t washed up like most of the acts from their state. Best Coast live sounds nearly identical to their album recordings—and the shift of sound on The Only Place demonstrates their raw musical talent and ability to find gold in the darkest mines of the mind.
After the stage faded out, the audience wiped out, sweaty and stiff even though everyone could have sworn they hardly moved a muscle. With the season slowly coming to a close, Best Coast delivered that much-needed summer mood. For once, Monday wasn’t so bad after all.
Crazy For You
The Only Place
No One Like You
How They Want Me to Be
Why I Cry
Dreaming My Life Away
Let’s Go Home
When The Sun Don’t Shine
Do You Love Me Like You Used To
— ENCORE —
Something In The Way
I Want To
Sun Was High (So Was I)
(Fleetwood Mac cover)
When I’m With You
*This review was composed by Sydney Gore and edited by Emily Coch