Bright lights and gauzy smoke made for a dreamy Tuesday night at the Fillmore, with Baltimore’s atmospheric Beach House playing to a mostly packed house.
The show began with Zomes, the one-man band of Asa Osborne, formerly of Baltimore’s Lungfish. The experimental keyboardist sat front and center for a psychadelic, if somewhat monotonous, set of repetitive synth and drum beats. The crowd was still filing in at this point and those that were there waited patiently for the main act, giving the opener a courteous applause when his performance was over.
Shortly before ten, Beach House took the stage to a chorus of cheers and applause. The synth-pop duo of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, joined by live percussion, started off with the quiet “Troublemaker” off of their new album, Bloom, to be released next week. “Other People,” also from the new album, followed with more of Legrand’s sweet, crooning high notes. But it wasn’t until the third song that the band really hit their stride. A sea of star-like lights engulfed the backdrop as “Norway,” the hit from 2010’s Teen Dream, energized the crowd. Smoke and venetian blind lighting streaked across the silhouetted performers, while shades of blue reflected off fans encased in giant wooden boxes at the back of the stage.
While the band remained stationary during most of the show, Scally took the occasional stroll across the stage and Legrand banged her thick mane into the microphone. They played mostly new tracks like “Wild” and the somber and nostalgic single “Myth,” plus a B-side called “Equal Mind” from the 7” Record Store Day release “Lazuli.”
Although they rarely addressed the audience, Legrand gave a brief nod to the new release, but said, “that’s boring to talk about.” Old favorites from Teen Dream and 2008’s Devotion, like “Zebra” and “Silver Soul,” got the most reaction, especially as the most frantic and seizure-inducing light display accompanied the latter.
The band came back after a short break for an encore with a couple more old songs as the crowd shimmied and swayed for the final notes. They ended the set with “Irene,” from Bloom, which slowly built up from languid and aimless to booming and intricate for a beautiful finish.