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Mother Nature Is No Match for Beach House

July 24th, 2012

Beach House – SummerStage – July 23, 2012


Take any concert out of its usual bar or club setting and weird things can happen. The music risks becoming a background soundtrack rather than the main event because of endless distractions like nice summer weather, food and bathroom lines. In the case of Beach House’s SummerStage show last night in Central Park, the band shared the show with a summer storm. But it didn’t steal the show. It just made everything better (as long as you were OK with getting soaking wet).

Beach House began things with “Wild,” off their new album, Bloom, as smoke billowed out of machines onstage and dissipated up into the threatening skies. The sun slowly began to set and the clouds took over as the band played through song after song of their signature dreamy and hazy pop to the transitioning weather. And in the crawling crescendo of “Lazuli” the sky finally cracked open with lightning, drawing audible noise out of the audience at the track’s bridge. As “Gila” and “Used to Be” welcomed the cold rain, lead singer Victoria Legrand declared, “We’re not going to let this weather win.” But this was no competition. With umbrellas popping up in the audience, the crowd began to thin but not by much. And Beach House continued to power through, closing the set with the enchanted tones of “Myth” swirling through the thick rain.

The audience, now equal parts people and umbrellas, brought them back out for an encore that started off with “Turtle Island” as the biggest lightning strike yet splintered through the Manhattan skyline. Their next tune, “10 Mile Stereo,” was almost a rebuttal to the weather, with its screaming guitars calling out to the skies and the flashing stage lights during its loud climax mimicking the lightning going off in the distance. The show closed with “Irene,” which shares its name with the hurricane that threatened NYC last summer. But in the end, the menacing weather did nothing to stop the show. So if you ever have the chance to see Beach House live under the thundering heavens, be sure to take it and stick out whatever Mother Nature throws at you—but bring an umbrella. —Dan Rickershauser

Photos courtesy of Alexis Maindrault | rockinpix.com