Beach Fossils at The Subterranean
It’s really something when you get the chance to see a band live and it throws you through a loop. Before tonight, had someone told me that fans would be moshing and diving off the stage at a Beach Fossils show, I would have been in utter disbelief. The band played at The Subterranean in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, with the groups Ivy Dye and Twin Peaks opening up for them.
It was clear to see how the first band, Ivy Dye, fit in to the mix. Their sound was laid-back and melody-focused, which is very reminiscent of what you get from the indie pop sound of any Beach Fossils album. During their set, singer Chris Adams admitted to the crowd that this was their first time playing for this large of an audience, but you would never be able to tell by watching them. They had the ease and the showmanship of any indie rock outfit on the scene today.
The next act, Twin Peaks, seemed to make slightly less sense at first. With an intensified energy, Twin Peaks’ sound was much more punk-influenced. With band members shaking their heads violently and jumping around the stage, these guys certainly went all-out when it came to stage presence. You could see the audience feeding off of the energy being spewed out from the group as they danced along and nodded their heads in time.
And the energy certainly did not stop there. The crowd erupted as Beach Fossils finally took the stage, starting with ‘Clash the Truth’, the title track off of their new album. Upon the first few lyrics, singer Dustin Payseur immediately leaped out into the crowd and sang from the group of excited fans. Payseur shortly hopped back up onstage to continue the set, throughout which said fans danced around wildly, pushing into each other as if at a punk show rather than indie pop. The feel of the show was very high-energy and fast paced, which was a very interesting and refreshing take when it comes to a band so often associated with being “laid-back” or “dreamy”.
The band performed mostly songs from the new album Clash the Truth as well as a handful from their self-titled Beach Fossils. For a while there it seemed as though they were completely neglecting any material from their 2011 release What A Pleasure - that is, until they played the brief instrumental track ‘Moments’ and lead that into the song ‘What A Pleasure’. As soon as fans recognized the tune, they burst into cheers and started singing along.
In between songs, the band also got to show their humorous side, cracking jokes and exchanging witty banter. At one point the band jokingly introduced themselves as the band Tool and started playing the intro to one of their more well-known songs, which had the audience cracking up. Overall, the band put on an excellent live show that packed a lot of energy and gave fans just what they came out to see. A recent critique of the new album claims that Beach Fossils has become confused as to what their sound is and who they are as a band. If anything, Beach Fossils’ live show proves that they know just who they are as artists.