Greetings blog world! It’s Christine here for another guest segment and this time I wanted to talk about a little band called Best Coast. For those unfamiliar with the name, Best Coast is a duo composed of front woman, Bethany Cosentino, and instrumental master, Bobb Bruno. Together, their surf pop/indie sound mixed with Bethany’s insatiably distinct writing style, combine to create every teenager’s dreams and feelings of love, self-identity and a deep-seeded root to that one mega-city on the west coast. With the success of their debut album, Crazy For You, catapulting them into the hipster limelight, and with the equally gratifying sophomore album, The Only Place, have not only set the standard for prime indie music but have also solidified a place for Best Coast at the top of the game. Personally, Best Coast represents everything I love in music; simplistic songs that have extremely relatable themes with super catchy melodic instrumental compositions and supplied with their own twist of killer beach vibes creates something special. For me, it’s the feeling of home. Being an LA native and recently relocating to a different state for school, listening to Best Coast (and Best Coast radio on Pandora) brings me back to the sun soaked days of freely navigating immeasurable traffic on the freeways all in an effort to reach the next beach trip or the next venue for that rock show or most significantly, to be with the ones that mean the absolute most to me. Elkee and I were lucky enough to get the chance to see Best Coast at the El Rey Theatre on August 19th and needless to say, we had a superb time. I saw Best Coast 2 years ago at the Make Music Festival in Pasadena and unfortunately I didn’t get to see their whole set so I was super eager to get the chance to see them again. Not only was I getting to see Best Coast again but I was also introduced to Bleached and the Lovely Bad Things and I just wanted to share my experience at the show because it definitely was a worthy one.
The show started with the Lovely Bad Things opening and they are a band from So-Cal consisting of Lauren Curtis, Brayden Ward, Camron Ward and Tim Hatch. I would describe them as a clash between garage rock with some punk elements to them.
I was definitely surprised to hear how strongly the punk aspect does flow out of them and I was even surprised to see some early stage divers and crowd surfers which I didn’t expect to see at all at this show but this was just the beginning…
Next up were the Clavin sisters, Jennifer and Jessica, from Los Angeles who compromise the band Bleached. This was my introduction to the group and I must say I was extremely impressed by their stage presence and energy. I would describe their sound as being heavily punk influenced but with just enough pop elements to make their style more accessible to a broader palette.
One highlight for me was during their set they did two fantastic renditions of the Ramones (I can’t recall for the life of me the name of the song but if any of you in the blogosphere knows, please do share) and “Hybrid Moments” by the Misfits. They were completely unexpected but once I delved a bit deeper into the sisters’ influences, it made a lot of sense that they would want to cover these artists in particular. Overall, I thought Bleached was a great segue into the grand finale.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BEST COAST! *cue “Today Was a Good Day” by* Ice Cube What we all were here for finally arrived and boy was the crowd anxious to get them on the stage.
A soon as they did get up there, they surely did not disappoint! Bethany’s voice shines through more powerfully and commanding than her records do her justice. She is a force to be reckoned with on stage, much more so than I had anticipated but so thrilled to see it fulfilled.
They played a great set list including the singles that they’ve released, some favorites off both albums, and even new music that is scheduled for an EP release sometime in September. She debuted a new song called “Fade Away” and Elkee made a connection to that song and how it had Mazzy Star vibes to it which I couldn’t have agreed more. Anyone remember “Fade Into You”…? A special guest included Bethany’s dad, a musician in his own respect, on drums for the song they collaborated on called “Fear of My Identity” and let me say, that guy is just as much of a powerhouse as his daughter. A slow, haunting intro filtered into “Our Deal” by far one of my favorites and it just somehow made the entirety of the whole song a little more melancholy but still so beautiful.
The show commenced with more great performances throughout the night and ended with a Best Coast staple, “Boyfriend”. In true rock n’ roll spirit, Bethany then proceeded to stage dive into the crowd and I wish there was some sort of mechanism that could translate memory into film clip or even photograph because I can’t describe how perfectly a sea of raised arms moved in unison to catch the queen B in an effort to create a thrown of hands in which to gently whisk her to and fro within the audience. Somewhere along the show camaraderie, Elkee and I fell like a set of dominoes amongst other bystanders and we laughed and thought it was the just the greatest thing ever. Rock n’ roll.