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Review Tue Jul 20 2010

Review: Best Coast @ Empty Bottle, 7/17

bestcoast-bethany_500h.jpg

Bethany Cosentino (photos by Dave Knapik)

One of the best things about music festivals is the sheer number of performances on offer over what is a relatively small span of time. Unfortunately, this can also be one of a festival's downsides, as artists play shorter sets and fans are forced to choose between simultaneous unmissable acts. Although sunshine and warm summer days are their specialty, Best Coast's early afternoon Pitchfork festival appearance always seemed easily missed by the temptation to sleep in. Considering the massive amount of dope they smoke, it seemed slightly wrong to set an alarm clock for a band I could stay up late and see at the Empty Bottle the night before.

After a brief tech check by guitarist Bobb Bruno, the full band took the stage. Make no mistake, however, for Best Coast's "full band" consists of three people, with this gig marking former Vivian Girls drummer Ali Koehler's first performance as an official, non-borrowed member. This minimal line-up is key to the effectiveness of their sound: short, simple pop songs that are high on fuzz, but low on fuss.

bestcoast-bobb-500h.jpg

Although their first full-length release doesn't come out until next week, Best Coast already has a firm following built upon a handful of singles. It's impressive enough to sell out a venue on a night following a full day's worth of music in a city packed with afterparties, but drawing a crowd that knows all the words to songs that are barely a year old is a true testament to frontwoman Bethany Cosentino's pop songwriting prowess. Set highlights such as "When I'm With You" and "The Sun Was High (So Was I)" saw many punters singing along and eagerly bouncing to the lazy beat. That bouncing gave way to full on moshing before long, proving that Union Park didn't hold a monopoly on the weekend's energy. Noticing that a fair number of people knew the unreleased songs a bit too well, Cosentino chided the crowd for stealing the new record online, though showing us it was simply a gentle tease, she added, "I would have done the same thing."

If there's one lesson to take from Best Coast, it's that not only can a duo rock just as hard as a traditional four piece, but that if you manage to steal a Vivian Girl to make it a trio, then you're prepared to incapacitate. I can only wonder what percentage of the audience made it out to Pitchfork before sunset the next day.

 
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Tripp / July 23, 2010 4:05 PM

I made it out for Best Coast the next day... BC are the real deal...

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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