by Tara Morgan
Back-lit by the glow of a single light, her wild hair silhouetted against the dark of the stage, Beach House singer Victoria Legrand launched into the track, “Wild,” off the band’s most recent album, Bloom. It was an arresting moment that briefly silenced the packed Egyptian Theatre crowd on Oct. 5, as a crashing wave of the band’s signature, guitar-and-keyboard drenched dream pop washed over them.
And the rest of the show followed suit, with equal measures of style and echoing emotion. On its third song, “Norway,” a ceiling-high constellation of tiny stage lights flickered on behind the band’s three members as Legrand belted out the hit from the group’s achingly lovely 2010 smash album Teen Dream.
Beach House, more than most contemporary indie acts, knows how to create and maintain an aesthetic—both musically and visually. The band’s 2006 self-titled debut album boasted a treasure chest of jewels on its cover and was the sonic equivalent of preserving an ethereal late-summer afternoon in amber. And the band has maintained that dreamy, pearl-hued sound through its subsequent three albums.
On its last tour through Boise to promote Teen Dream, the group decked out the Neurolux stage with giant twirling diamonds that scattered their reflected light around the small space. It was a lovely and oh-so-fitting canvas for the band to paint its dark, breathy sound.
At Beach House’s performance at The Egyptian, it rolled through favorites like “Silver Soul,” “Lazuli,” “Frightened Eyes,” “Zebra” and “Myth,” while white wooden palettes towered behind them like lighthouses, reflecting the stage lights with slowly spinning fans. Once again, the band had created a visual environment that allowed the crowd to get lost in the sound while weaving its own meaning into the sparse lyrics.
Though Beach House has grown considerably since it last played Boise in 2010, I couldn't help but feel a breeze of nostalgia for the more intimate Neurolux environment. But as I heard a diverse crowd of old and young clustered around the stage belting out the lyrics to “10 Mile Stereo”—in stereo—I felt thankful to have seen the band again in such a relatively intimate space.
For a slideshow of Beach House and opener Poor Moon, click here.