Beach House Keeps Things Fresh with the Help of Its Fans
Beach House is winding down its touring cycle for its 2015 albums, Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars. During the past year, the band has made good on its impulse to have diverse performance experiences with elaborate props and a light show made especially for the tour.
“We had the screens and the fiber-optic flower walls,” says singer/keyboard player Victoria Legrand. “We would go into a space with what we had and alternate it depending on the [layout of those] spaces. The screen is the same and the flowers are the same. The elements were the same, but the composition was different.”
During the tour, Beach House also created a set-list generator; fans could suggest songs, so the set list had the potential to be different for every show. “You can just play the songs every night, but I think that's not exciting for us,” says Legrand. “[That's] why we had the set-list generator, so people could pick the songs they want to hear. That keeps us engaged with every audience that comes to see us, and it keeps us in communication with [our fans].”
This experimentation is just a part of Beach House's plans to keep the concert experience interesting for both the audience and the group's members, who are also touring with a larger band than they have in the past.
Legrand thinks challenging expectations is healthy for the band. “We currently tour as a four-piece with a bass player and a drummer, but we'll go back to the two-piece or a three-piece and maintain that level of control,” says Legrand. “We can be as many people or as few people as we want. We just try to be sensitive to not being jaded or robotic about it all. Ten years is a long time to be a band, and it's a lot of hard work to be in touch with your audience, yourself and your art and not let it become some commodity that has no heart.”
Beach House's 2010 tour opening for Vampire Weekend found the band playing large venues like Red Rocks, a venue that Legrand loves but feels is a little large for what she sees as the ideal outlet for the kind of music Beach House creates. Since then, Legrand and bandmate Alex Scally have pursued venues with a capacity of 1,600 or less, where they feel their intimate music is most effective.
Beach House with ENTRANCE, 8 p.m. Monday, August 22, Ogden Theatre, 303-722-7844, $29.50 adv. / $35-$50 day of show, 16+.
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