Thursday’s weather in the Windy City indicated that fall, indeed, was in the air, with crisp breezes that swept through the streets forcefully and chill temperatures that accompanied it, particularly as the sun began to set. Thus, it was a summer-clinger’s treat and a mini vacation from cold temperatures and reality for anyone seeking to be swept away by intoxicatingly lulling and alluring dream-pop band, for Baltimore-bred band Beach House performed at The Riviera Theatre that night (Oct. 11). While the band’s last show in Chicago was fairly recent (in July at Pitchfork Music Festival), members Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally exhibited extensive appreciation, almost as if it was their first time there; Legrand thanked the audience for being in attendance on countless occasions, noting how “sweet” everyone was and that the band wouldn’t be where they were without them.
Ironically enough, this performance happened to be the band’s biggest Chicago show to date, which was enough reason to reflect even more sunny hues and warmth. Legrand enthusiastically noted at one point, “You never know what’ll happen, but we do know that we’re going to play another song right now!” In other words, the mood was lighthearted amidst the misty mesmerization, and this went even deeper when Legrand randomly decided to attempt slam poetry (Haikus, specifically) while Scully and touring drummer Dan Franz playfully instrumentalized around her; examples included “Foreign sailing down waterfalls pizzas,” “Time travel in babies golden locks of fire” and “Did you remember your mother?”
While conversation was generally minimal throughout the set, though, it was clear to sense the amount of gratification and heartfelt care in the room; in addition to the pure humbleness, Legrand proudly took on a mother-like figure despite the dark shadows invoked from the venue’s lighting and the black dress suit she adorned (complete with matching heels), for she often checked in on the crowd to see how they were doing. From afar, Legrand resembled a mythical goddess looming out of the penumbra of scintillating lights; however, as her vibrantly dulcet voice reverberated off the walls of the entire premises (and likely through others’ souls), all curiosity was lost and immediate enchantment was inevitable. In fact, in the band’s song “On the Sea,” Legrand sings, “Shadows bend and suddenly the world becomes and swallows me in;” ironically enough, it was her voice, on top of the undulating shadows and sheen, that swallowed the entire room in exultantly. Additionally, her perch at the keyboard was mostly upright and stoic, but on occasion, she’d unravel fluid hand gesticulations and use her delightful mane of wavy hair (which seemingly has a soul of its own) as a rock-out mechanism and bob it up and down vigorously.
The band played a memorable set-list, performing a majority of songs off their latest album, Bloom, which was released in May, in addition to material from their previous releases (some even as far back as their 2006 debut release). To put the matter mildly, the show was unforgettable and satiable, though it’s safe to say that the audience would have been content listening to the band for the rest of the night. The next time the band performs in Chicago, they will undeniably be heartily welcomed again with open arms, an ultimate summer swoon in reach.