This isn’t a farewell tour, but it really feels like it.
As Victoria Legrand addressed the capacity crowd at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday night, she was audibly emotional – touched, perhaps, by the monumental occasion of their tenth performance in Washington, D.C. since forming Beach House with Alex Scally in Baltimore twelve years ago. Full of gratitude, Legrand’s words vaguely alluded to an uncertainty about the future, and whether this was indeed, their last show at the hallowed venue. If this week’s show was truly their swansong in the District, they went out in a blaze of glory, playing to an adoring audience for a second consecutive sold-out show.
Beach House have evolved into one of those bands with near mythical standing – a product of their retreat from the public eye between 2012 and 2015, as well as their penchant for creating entire songs and albums that could easily serve as the soundscape to our collective dreams. They started their career strongly, releasing four instant-classic albums that altered the way we think of dreampop, and its relationship to hip-hop and RnB.
They came back in full force last year, breaking their radio silence to drop two strong albums in a short window: Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars. But you’d be forgiven for thinking those albums never happened – the first fifty minutes of last night’s set were entirely songs from the back catalog, including a rendition of fan-selected classic, (and the song that turned me onto this band back in 2008) “Gila“.
Whether or not Legrand and Scally continue making music as a duo is up to them, and no matter their decision, it is clear that their legacy lives on through them and the many, many artists they have influenced and inspired. This week’s show was a testament to the lasting power of their emotionally charged brand of songwriting.