Review and photos – Best Coast at Rio Theatre, Vancouver, August 12, 2013
-review by Ria Nevada (@ria_nevada)/photos by Kirk Chantraine
The summer wouldn’t have been complete without the sun-kissed tunes of Best Coast making its way to our shores – the doors of the Rio Theatre to be precise. The all-ages show brought in a mix of bright-eyed, twee-revival teenagers, and a more mature indie crowd that couldn’t wait to strip off their Monday work attire for the gritty garage and infectious sounds of front woman Bethany Cosentino and guitarist/songwriting counterpart Bobb Bruno. The duo could easily sit and bask in the success of their 2012 release The Only Place, but have been hard at work putting together an EP (titled Fade Away and due in September) of their trademark surf-punk guitars matched with Cosentino’s agonizing spiels about relationships, and broken or unfulfilled dreams.
The band appeared behind the stage’s red velvet curtains to the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”, and though Cosentino gave the poppy girl-anthem a bit of a jig while setting herself up on her guitar, a dark cloud seemed to weigh over all their heads during their opening numbers. They thrashed through the angst-ridden “Goodbye”, “Crazy for You” and one of their newer tracks “I Wanna Know” with slightly cold demeanours. It became clear that it was actually the overwhelming heat at the front of the venue wearing down Cosentino’s patience, and she even complained that her oversized Raiders T-shirt and leather mini skirt were not making her life any easier.
Finally taking a break to pat herself down with a towel (an item that quickly grew in high demand amongst fans), and letting out a huge sigh of frustration, she, Bruno and their accompanying drummer and guitarist/bassist finally loosened up on stage for the effervescent “The Only Place”. The stinging sentiments attached to the earlier tracks disappeared in favour of the up-tempo melody and adoring lyrics for Cosentino’s main love – her home state.
The adulation came back to Cosentino ten-fold with members of the audience showering her with presents – flowers, a card, and the ultimate emblem of BC hospitality, a perfectly rolled joint. While the band declined to spark it up initially, the smoke wafting at the front of the stage (and the discrepancy in bass levels) distracted Cosentino enough to put “How They Want Me To Be” to a screeching halt mid-verse. After some friendly banter with their sound technician and joking about passing the joint over, Cosentino regained composure and gave the 50’s teen dream tune an elegant finish.
She was in fine form for the last half of the show, her admirers eating up every sassy comment and pop culture reference she’d make. Apparently being a Best Coast fan is synonymous with being obsessed with Seinfeld and Cats of Instagram. The group made a quick exit after the set but were lured back in by a “Best Coast, West Coast” chant from the main hall and officially closed with “Do You Still Love Me Like You Used To” and their breakout hit “Boyfriend”. The trying atmosphere diminished some of Best Coast’s tight sound, but overall it was another highly entertaining visit from this solid band.
More Best Coast Vancouver photos by Kirk Chantraine: