Show Review: Beach House @ Stubbs (9.20)

In what was an absolutely hectic night for the Austin music scene, we started our evening at Stubbs catching two of the better acts in the whole scene, The Walkmen and Beach House.  For my two cents, there was only one clear-cut winner on the evening, but for that you’ll have to read on.

…not to mention you’ll get great pics from Brian Gray that you can’t get with your cellphone.

Dustin Wong, the guitar virutoso opened the night, and I felt really bad for the guy.  He had to go on at 6:30, so the Sold Out crowd hadn’t completely filtered in at that point, but it didn’t seem to matter.  He calmly played his role of opener, looping his guitar over and over, pushing forward by playing atop those loops.  It was definitely a cool vibe he gave off, and I hope we’ll get the chance to see him again.  Keep your eyes out for this one.

Here it is folks. The Walkmen were the best band last night.  They came out dapper and ready to rock, opening with “The Love You Love” from Heaven, and continuing with an incredible energy.  Surprisingly, the kicked out “The Rat” as the third song in the set, which is usually one of the latter jams, but it seemed perfectly fitting, especially when they followed it up with “In The New Year.”  Those were two of my favorite songs, but as they kept rocking out, I realized how much I have really enjoyed listening to Heaven this year, not to mention Lisbon, You & Me, and so on and so forth.

For a lot of people, Hamilton’s voice always seems to be sort of a dividing line, as it comes off a bit rough on recorded material.  That being said, it’s the perfect voice for the live settting, giving off emotion on tunes like “Angela,” and capturing the adoration of the audience with his vocal energy.  As I briefly reflect on the set, I’m convinced that there aren’t a lot of bands out there who are better than The Walkmen, at least live.  Sure, they might not always be the most exciting group, but they sound incredible, and they have amazing songs to back it up.

I know I gave my love for the night to The Walkmen, but don’t get me wrong, Beach House was really good.  As always, they sound incredible live, and simple lighting really helped boost the group’s sound.  You got the great hits like “Zebra,” “Myth” and “Lazuli,” but for some reason, as on point as the band was, they didn’t quite live up to the energy that came before them.  I don’t think it’s entirely their fault, as they’re clearly the lead draw right now, but it was an interesting dichotomy between their set and that of The Walkmen.  But, I know everyone I spoke to was more than mesmerized when they finished, it’s just that my obsession with the previous act might have been too much for my own good.   Still, every time I see them, I’m continued to be impressed by how well their sounds, best listened to in your bedroom, translate to the live show.  They’ve pulled it off every time I’ve seen them, and last night was just another example of how wonderful they truly are.

There are a more pics at the photo site


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