Beach House at the Pabst Theater
Various diamond-shaped disco “balls” surrounded the stage, suspended in the air and controlled to half-rotate or slowly spin, and two decomposing garlands of metallic and multi-colored material pom-poms fell limp, stretching from the ceiling to the floor on either side of the stage. The theatre was held in darkness as well, with the exception of monochromatic, saturated wisps/pools of light, particularly highlighting Victoria Legrand’s mouth and hair, her eyes and body covered in black. At times confetti-like pieces of light covered the stage floor, and saturated beams in rainbow colors shot up from the behind the band to create a momentary luminescent background.
Their performance, especially Legrand’s, was much more dramatic this time around. She stood at center stage, select facial features pinpointed in green or magenta light, head-banging a mass of hair, and hazily engaging with the audience, who stood up after four or five songs and met the band with loud applause and I-love-yous/song requests yelled from the upper decks. Guitarist Alex Scally took the more subdued role, sitting at times and playing with his head down. Except for a command to the audience to stare up at the massive chandelier hanging over the first floor, he remained quiet and absorbed. Absent the melancholia of their last visit, they were obviously charged, happy, and, knowingly, really lucky to be playing in such a great venue (of which they commented on) and to such a receptive audience (which Legrand also commented on).
The band, and Teen Dream especially, has a special quality of entrancing their audience with or without visual bells and whistles, making them feel stoned if they aren’t already and making people slouch down in their seats, contentedly spent, or get out of them altogether. The visual production only added to the feeling. My only complaint was that the desperation of “Silver Soul, ” a stand-out track on Team Dream, was disappointedly less intense live than on record. Otherwise, the set was fleshed-out, inspired, and delivered with all the rock that such wistful slow-core can muster.