Concert Review: Brooklyn-based indie rock group Beach Fossils awaken sleepy listeners
Beginning their set at 12:30 a.m., Brooklyn-based dream pop band Beach Fossils faced the challenge of performing for a crowd of droopy-eyed, impatient D.C. locals stressing about getting a full eight hours of sleep before work the next morning. However, the combination of superb openers, a rather magical disco ball and the band’s dreamy sound proved to make up for the late start of Beach Fossils’ show on Oct. 24 at the 9:30 Club.
The openers for the late-night final show of the “Somersault” tour, Los Angeles’s Raener and Maryland's Snail Mail, put the audience into an indie trance with their gentle and hypnotic sounds. The spell over the audience was broken by Beach Fossils’ lively ‘60s rock guitar and obvious intergroup chemistry.
Seventeen-year-old Lindsey Jordan of Snail Mail in particular held the attention of the audience with her crooning voice that simultaneously demonstrated her emotional immaturity as a high schooler and her vocal maturity as an accomplished singer. Appealing even to the audience’s visual sensibilities, the white hair of both Jordan and bassist Alex Bass acted as a canvas for the blue, red and purple lights as they jammed their ruby red and pastel blue guitars to songs like “Dirt” and “Slug.” Akin to an emo Wolf Alice, Snail Mail surpassed the expectation a concert-goer has of the opener slot at an alternative concert, overshadowing the typical-indie-band-sounding Raener and rivaling the headliner.
However, the awkward head bobbing and stoic expressions of the audience quickly turned to carefree jiving and blissful smiles once Beach Fossils took the stage with their uniquely bubbly guitar and breezy vocals. Opening with their classic “General Synthetic” off of 2013’s “Clash the Truth,” the band immediately engaged the audience with their odd combination of depressing, The-War-On-Drugs-esque vocals and an upbeat guitar that could be right out of a Beach Boys’ record.
Similar to their albums, the band’s set itself flowed as if it was one gigantic song, a phenomenon that either makes for an extremely boring show or a story-like musical experience. The Beach Fossils show did the latter -- the rise and fall of each song fit together like a puzzle, instead of blending together thoughtlessly.
At the same time, the excruciatingly-long set began much later than the time advertised. This had a negative effect on the Tuesday night audience, as many left around 1 a.m. It didn’t help that the band chose to not to play many hits from their most unique and catchy record, 2011’s “What a Pleasure,” namely “Adversity” -- Beach Fossils’ third most popular song on iTunes.
Despite these setbacks, the energy that carried from the openers to the headliner made this a stand-out show where even reluctant hipsters left with a smile.