Best Coast Fitzgerald's November 6, 2010
Considering our prior exposure to Best Coast was at this summer's massive Pitchfork Festival, we were eager to check them out on Saturday, in the considerably cozier confines of Fitzgerald's.
It seems much of Houston shared similar enthusiasm, as the line to enter spanned the block. And on the city's chilliest night of the season, such eagerness to enter the venue was kicked up a notch.
Taking the stage to the fitting backing track of Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," the Los Angeles-based trio received an avid welcome from their all-ages crowd.
Singer/songwriter Bethany Cosentino, guitarist Bobb Bruno and drummer Ali Koehler (formerly of Vivian Girls) kicked off their set with "Bratty B" from this year's full-length debut, Crazy For You. The LP's material was most prominently featured throughout the evening, as the trio plowed through an ostensibly effortless set of its key tracks, including "The End," "Our Deal," "Goodbye," and "When I'm With You."
Standout single and easy highlight "Boyfriend" should make every contemporary band green with envy; with a flawless pop structure and singsong melody, its bare-souled lyrics read as if they were torn from the pages of Cosentino's private diary. A cover of Lesley Gore's 1964 single "That's the Way Boys Are" fit flawlessly alongside Best Coast's kindred teen-like anthems.
"This is our first time in Houston," Cosentino keenly announced, revealing her girlish demeanor. And as if these two thoughts were somehow connected, she continued, "And we are looking for a drink called Drank," which summoned a bout of giggles from the crowd. But a soft drink that aims to induce "extreme relaxation" seems unnecessary for the already laid-back Californians, whose sunny West Coast nature shined through their wall of fuzzy garage-pop.
Drawing inspiration from a blend of some of our favorite walks of music, the Best Coast sound is fairly easy to peg: They are master revivalists of '90s lo-fi indie-rock and breezy surf-pop, with a heavy lean toward '60s-era girl groups.
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A speedy rendition of "Each and Every Day" closed the first set, Cosentino's "ooh la la la's" echoing in our heads, until the band returned to the stage to close out the evening with two "older" tunes, "So Gone" and "This Is Real."
While Cosentino's easy-breezy, rhyming lyrics don't exactly delve into the depths of life's greater meanings, she has mastered the candid croon of life's simpler truths - boys, boredom, pining love, and even pet cats. And who can't identify with that?
Personal Bias: The fusion of Exile in Guyville-era Liz Phair with the influence of Phil Spector's 1960's girl groups is unsurprisingly up our alley.
The Crowd: A mix of fashionably bold teens and artsy twentysomethings.
Overheard in the Crowd: "'DAMAS' MEANS GIRLS!" - More of an impatient wail, overheard in the restroom line
Random Notebook Dump: We look forward to hearing further material from Best Coast, as their set at times seemed to require a sprinkling of fresh tunes not previously heard on Crazy For You.
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Bratty B Crazy For You Sun Was High The End Summer Mood Boyfriend Our Deal When the Sun Don't Shine Goodbye That's the Way Boys Are Wish He Was You I Want To When I'm With You Something in the Way Each and Every Day
So Gone This Is Real