Oh, Red Bull – you’re running us ragged with this month of shows. Luckily, last night provided a bit of a necessary lull in the energy of the month. Beach Party, Pure Bathing Culture and Real Estate brought their talents to The Belasco in Downtown Los Angeles, to a crowd of eager fans.
Personally, I was very much looking forward to another set from LA locals Beach Party. I’ve gotten to know this band as friends over the last year and I’ve never had to fake being into their music. These guys always put forward a wave of high-energy surf/punk/rock that is exactly what you’d expect from a band called Beach Party. Their stage presence is as strong as their drinks and they didn’t skip a beat flowing through their set. They played a few newer tracks and teased they are currently wrapping up their full-length album. Their lyrics lament of bad decisions and debauchery, I believe the smart choruses played a big part in winning the crowd over. This was their last show of 2014 and they were well received by the mellower Real Estate crowd. Red Bull Sound Select has mismatched sounds on some of these lineups this month, but the strong survive and Beach Party certainly made new fans at The Belasco.
Second in the lineup was Pure Bathing Culture. They’re a Red Bull Sound Select band from Brooklyn, who came across as a weak whisper in comparison to the roar Beach Party left echoing in the venue. Their sound was modern and meek – think Beach House’s estranged cousins. They were predominantly clad in white, with the female lead channeling starlets of years past, and I feel wanted to impress a Fleetwood Mac vibe on the crowd. They were a talented group, but a bit too slowjam for me. This was a good segway into Real Estate, though – if they had played first I’m afraid they’d be completely forgotten.
Real Estate was the headline act and I feel like this show would’ve been sold out at a venue a bit smaller. The Belasco is great room but seemed to swallow up the entire lineup – however each band managed to pull through. The indie-buzz world caught the Real Estate bug only a few years ago and they’re still chugging along with shows all over the place. The night prior to this they were featured on Conan, for example. With a band that only became active in 2009 – you get a fair taste of their entire discography within a single set. This pleased fans from the photo-pit to the balcony and made a fan out of me. Their signature clear guitar tone lead me from being a casual fan when hearing them on KCRW to someone who went home and bookmarked them on Spotify.
It wouldn’t be a day in #30DaysInLA without a special guest! Shortly after Beach Party played, I wandered to their dressing room backstage to congratulate them on a solid set – I also wandered by a dressing room labeled “RIVERS CUOMO”. I’m a huge Weezer fan and seeing that enticed me to stay till the very end of Real Estate’s set. Sure enough – near the tail end, the consistently vest-clad Weezer front man took the stage as Real Estate’s special guest. He didn’t guest on a Real Estate song, either – they all jammed on in a rendition of “No Other One” from Weezer’s timeless Pinkerton. The entire room unanimously was pleased, but Rivers only stuck around for the one song. Real Estate grabbed on to the remnant energy from the guest appearance and steadily strolled to the end of their set. It’s always a treat to catch bands you’re only familiar with via their radio tracks – only to be rendered a new member of their fan base. 18/30 of #30DaysInLA rocked steady.
Words: Justin Cornwall
Photos: Dani Meigel