Pitchfork Music Festival 2012, live review | Beach House
And the Ambience award goes to...
From the smoke machines and strobe lights to the hip blazers and hair flipping (and yin-yang socks? Seriously, there were yin-yangs on guitarist Alex Scally's intentionally-exposed socks), the aura during this set was straight up ambrosial. A friend of mine saw the three piece play in Memphis last Thursday, and described this scene exactly (well, maybe not the socks), which leads me to believe that no detail goes overlooked with the band's founders, singer/organ player Victoria LeGrand and Scally, who was a delight to watch as he happily bounced atop a stool positioned stage left before standing for some extra oopmh as the set increased in bredth and intensity. And it's certainly not the duo's first time at festival bat—it's their third time playing this fest alone, not to mention heavy hitters such as Coachella and Glastonbury.
The trio (which includes a rotating cast of touring drummers) navigated impeccably through a lineup of its signature sonic gorgeousness. Tonight's set consisted of tunes from their last three records—I didn't pick up anything from their 2006 self-titled release—including crowd favorites "Myth," "Norway," and "Used to Be." With her breathy, reverb-soaked croon, LeGrand hypnotized the full-to-the-gills field that swayed and sang and bounced, you guessed it, beach balls throughout the duration of the performance. There was a lot more banter than I was expecting, too, with LeGrand intermittently thanking festival organizers and the crowd, whom she called "very sweet," before being re-enveloped in a mysterious exhalation of grey smoke, driven by fortuitous winds that helped swirl it about the stage. It was nothing short of divine.