Fun with Best Coast

Best Coast + The Bitters + The Babies – The Knitting Factory (Brooklyn) – April 7

Best Coast front woman Bethany Cosentino and I may differ in opinion over which coast is actually the best, but then again, we’re both pretty biased – she’s from LA, and I grew up playing at the beach in South Carolina. But if reminiscing about her home place while living and attending school in New York inspired Cosentino to write her hazy, sun-drenched garage pop songs, then well I guess I’m ok with her unspoken (but heavily inferred) preference for the west coast. Many bands seem to be evoking this kind of sound in recent times, but what I like about Best Coast is that it the nod to early 90s garage rock and grunge doesn’t seem ironic. It seems genuine.

Bethany of Best Coast (Photo Paige K. Parsons)

Tuesday night’s show at The Knitting Factory sold-out early into the evening, and the interior got increasingly packed… and increasingly hot as time passed. Apparently, the AC went out sometime today, and pleasant temperatures outside made for quite a steamy session indoors. Of course, that was only a taste of the summer shows to come.

Canadian group The Bitters were alright, but I found their performance to be rather uninspired. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see The Babies (which features members of Vivian Girls and Woods) because I was waiting outside, trying to find a way into the show.

Joined by Ali Koehler of the Vivian Girls on drums and Bobb Bruno on guitar, Best Coast took the stage promptly at 10:30 as the sign outside the venue stated. The three performers didn’t talk much, and their set was surprisingly short – just around 29 minutes. Despite the briefness of the performance, however, Best Coast knew how to work the crowd and get people moving. Ali was charming and unafraid to rock out a little. And late into the set, the song “When I’m With You” in particular was quite… fun.

Sadly, there was no encore. The house music came on soon after Best Coast concluded the set with “Something In the Way, ” but the evening featured a handful of songs from their upcoming album, which inspired the following exchange:

Random guy in audience: When’s the record coming out?
Bethany: The summer or fall. You pick.
Crowd: Summer!
Someone else: tomorrow!
Someone else: tonight!
Bethany: Tonight! OK! Record Release party.

So that’s how I ended up at the (highly unofficial) impromptu ‘record release’ party of Best Coast.

Best Coast is also playing Wednesday night (4/7) at the Mercury Lounge, and as of right now, tickets are still available. Act fast. Best Coast will also be playing a number of shows around the country, followed by a European tour next month.

*To see some excellent pictures from the show, be sure to head over to Brooklyn Vegan.


1 Response to “Fun with Best Coast”

  1. 1 Colin April 8, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    get a clue – The Bitters are actually playing inspired music while Best Coast play insipid stuff. Bitters blew Best Coast away at the merc show.

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"He considered music a liberating force: it liberated him from loneliness, introversion, the dust of the library; it opened the door of his body and allowed his soul to step out into the world to make friends."

- Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being


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