Beach House – Live at Primavera Sound, Barcelona – June 4, 2016 – RNE Radio 3 –
Beach House, live at Primavera Sound, Barcelona – recorded on June 6, 2016 by Radio Nacional España’s Radio 3.
Vocalist and organist Victoria Legrand, who graduated from Vassar College in 2003, and guitarist Alex Scally, who graduated from Oberlin College in 2004, formed the band in 2004 after meeting in Baltimore’s indie rock scene, producing music composed largely of organ, programmed drums, and slide guitar. Of the origins of the band name Scally said: “We’d been writing music, and we had all these songs, and then there was that moment where you say ‘what do we call ourselves?’ We tried to intellectualize it, and it didn’t work. There were different plant-names, Wisteria, that kind of thing. Stupid stuff. But, once we stopped trying, it just came out, it just happened. And it just seemed perfect.” In an interview with Pitchfork, Legrand addressed their being a two-member status thus: “It’s a way to challenge ourselves: What do you do when it’s just the two of you? … One of the reasons this has been such a fulfilling experience for me is that with two people, it’s so much easier to achieve things that feel exciting and new.”
In August 2006, their song “Apple Orchard” was featured on a Pitchfork MP3 mixtape. By October 2006 the band’s self-titled debut album, Beach House, was released through Carpark Records, and was ranked 16th on Pitchfork’s Best Albums of that year. The album was recorded on a 4-track over a two day period in Scally’s basement.
The band has toured extensively worldwide. Of touring, Legrand stated: “[W]e love touring. That’s when you get to get into a rhythm, playing every night. It can be really fun. And I think you learn where you want to go with your music.”
Beach House is famous for its visual-heavy live shows that elevate their sound to a new level. Scally believes that playing live music is the best way to connect with fans. The band’s innovation in tour décor began with lightboxes with disco balls in them that Scally and Legrand made for their first tour.
In March 2009, the band was featured at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. In April 2010, the band performed at the Coachella Festival in Indio, California. In June 2010, the band surmounted “technical difficulties due to too much MDMA” while playing a set on The Park Stage at Glastonbury. In August 2010, the band joined Vampire Weekend on tour as one of their two opening acts, the other being the Dum Dum Girls. In October 2010, Beach House played at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. On December 20, 2010 the band performed on Conan.
The band was chosen by Animal Collective to perform at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival they curated in May 2011, and also by Portishead to perform at the ATP I’ll Be Your Mirror festival that they curated in July 2011 at London’s Alexandra Palace. On May 29, 2011 the band played at the Sasquatch! Music Festival. On July 31, 2011, the band played at the Fuji Rock music festival in Niigata, Japan. On October 16, 2011, the band played at the Treasure Island Music Festival. On May 18, 2012, they appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and on Sunday, July 15, 2012, they performed the closing set on the Red Stage during the Pitchfork Music Festival.
In May 2012, the band appeared on Later… with Jools Holland playing “Myth” and “Lazuli” from their 2012 album, Bloom. On July 26, 2012, they performed the Bloom cuts “Wild” and “Wishes” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
On October 17, 2015, the band performed “One Thing” from their album Thank Your Lucky Stars (which debuted the same night) on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Beach House performed at Coachella 2016 as well as Pickathon 2016 outside of Portland, Oregon and FYF Fest 2016 in Los Angeles, California. On July 15, 2016, the band headlined the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, Illinois. On August 13 the band played at the Eaux Claires music festival in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
“I believe that our show now with 7 material, visually and musically, is the best it’s ever been. It evolved over a long period of time and it’s a vision now. At first, it was just an idea, but now it’s an experience…. We want to make people leave themselves. Any good artistic experience is like that,” adds Scally.
In March 2018, the band announced an extensive tour itinerary that started at the end of April in the States and took them through the fall to Europe. In August 2019, Beach House added new tour dates in the US, including stops in Burlington and Cleveland, as well as Grand Rapids and Milwaukee, appearing at Osheaga festival in Montreal, Psycho Fest in Las Vegas, and Bellwether Music Festival in Waynesville, OH.
Here’s a sample from their 2016 period, playing Primavera Sound in Barcelona. Crank it up and enjoy.