The release of Best Coast’s third studio album California Nights brought with it what you would expect from the Los Angelus duo of singer/guitarist Bethany Costentino and guitarist Bob Bruno. Low fi, almost grungy guitars mixed with simple strong melodies and an overall feel of sun and west coast America. Halloween night in Dublin might be as far away as sun and surf as you can imagine but Best Coast did their utmost to infuse some sun into a packed-out Academy.
Support on the night comes from Cork native Talos and although the crowd is still filtering in as they take to the stage, they fill the room with their dense, atmospheric sound. Singer Eoin French writes what could be described as easily accessible James Blake, in other words, keep an eye on Talos because they are probably going to blow up over the next year.
When Best Coast take to the stage (in full costume) they lunge straight into ‘Heaven Sent’ from their newest full-length offering and then straight into fan favourite ‘The Only Place’ after. This mix of new and old sets the theme for the night with older songs layered in-between a healthy dose of new.
As a live band, Best Coast are a tight knit package. The addition of another guitarist alongside Costentino and Bruno fills their sound and makes sure every inch of the venue is drowned in fuzz-driven guitar. Their rhythm section lock in from the start and never wander throughout the night, while Costentino’s smooth vocals float above the music, re-creating their recorded sound.
It would be easy for a twenty-song set to wane from time to time but it’s evident Best Coast have their live show structured to hold your attention. Amid fast, head-nodding friendly songs like ‘Fine Without You’ and ‘Jealousy’, the tempo and dynamic drops with newer songs ‘California Nights’, ‘I Don’t Know How’ and ‘Fade Away’.
Ending with their lovelorn classic ‘Boyfriend’, Best Coast leave the stage to a cheering, satisfied audience. Here’s hoping they hit our shores again soon.
Best Coast photographed for State by Leah Carroll.