Beach House at 9:30 Club: A band in command


Lead singer Victoria LeGrand of Beach House performs at the 9:30 Club. (Marlon Correa/The Washington Post)
October 18, 2012

When Beach House played the Black Cat in March 2010, kicking off a tour for its breakthrough third album “Teen Dream,” it felt at times as though the band’s swelling choruses might burst the room.

Winding up a fall tour for the bewitching fourth albumBloom” at a sold-out 9:30 Club on Wednesday night, the Baltimore duo’s choruses again swelled but never threatened to burst anything. Beach House sounded like a group entirely in control — of the size of its audience, the scope of its music and the demands of the venue.

“Bloom” isn’t radically different from “Teen Dream” — they feel intrinsically linked — and with the majority of the set being drawn from those two records, the experience was seamless, billowing and stately. Many on the club’s packed main floor swayed with their eyes closed, mouthing lyrics as if singer/keyboardist Victoria Legrand were controlling their movements.

Aside from the occasional dip into their earlier work (a charming rendition of “Turtle Island” stood out), the band — Legrand and guitarist Alex Scally, joined by touring percussionist Dan Franz — swooshed through “Other People,” “Norway,” “Myth” and “The Hours,” among other key tracks. In front of a backdrop that lent a warehouse air to the proceedings, Beach House sounded both highly polished from a month-long tour and glad to be near home, exuding a joyful rush as the musicians dug when digging into the encore.

And while it’s plausible that the band will continue to expand its audience, Wednesday night’s show seemed the ideal balance of venue and band — musicians at their peak presented in the perfect place.

Foster is a freelance writer.

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