This Could Be The Most Haunting Live Performance Of Music I’ve Seen This Year.

December 14, 2010 at 1:14 am (Uncategorized)

…and you might be able to watch it, even.

Assuming this video loads as it should, what you’ve got here is indie rock darlings Beach House playing a sort of semi-plugged in set in a living room in an apartment in France.  It’s recorded for the web on a site called LiveWeb, as part of what seems like a kind-of-orphaned series called “Soiree De Poche” (“Evening Bag”, as in a purse the ladies carry out for a fashionable evening on the town.)  It’s kind of a cool premise–like 20 people sit in while a band plays in the apartment living room.

And so what happens here is that Beach House does a nice set.  And they get to the end, and they’re at the 20 minute mark, and (if my barely passable French is hearing correctly), a producer guy tells them they’ve got another five minutes if they’d like to do one more song.   Singer Victoria Legrand and guitarist Alex Scally exchange glances and shrugs.  He plays a familiar intro riff.  She laughs and says they can give a certain song a try, but it’s clear they’ve never tried to play this tune as a semi-acoustic number.  Victoria finally says something to the effect of “If it doesn’t work, we can just stop. It could be fun.” And so we go.

What happens next is pure magic.  In five minutes it took me from being vaguely interested in Beach House to being head-over-heels for them.  Stripped of the heavy production that fuels the studio version, they do an unplugged take on “Silver Soul” that has absolutely seared a permanent image of itself into my soul.  Amazing how Legrand–who in the band’s promo photos seems to look waifish and sometimes even downright mousy–commands the room with her presence and voice, looking positively angelic like some pop music goddess giving us mortals a small taste of sun-bright genius.

Now then.  I hope you’ll be able to see this.  For reasons I cannot fully fathom, LiveArt decided to apparently take down this live performance sometime in August, right when I was getting ready to blog about it the first time.  Now it seems as if maybe it’s back up, so hopefully this loads.  The entire performance is worth a look…but if you want the real magic, go to the 20 minute mark and prepare to fall in love. Can’t embed it, but you can click the link and it should load for you.


  1. Stu Pope said,

    Great commentary, Chris. Make me want to delve deeper into Beach House, a band I’ve been dabbling with lately but which still hasn’t struck just the right chord (for me). BTW, I’ve finally wrapped up my best of 2010 compilation. Let me know if you’d like a copy or would be interested in seeing the playlist. Cheers, Stu

  2. Chris said,

    Stu, always interested in seeing the Best Of lists of others, if only because I know I’ll steal from such lists for my own….;)

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