Beach House to play the Riviera Theatre Thursday

By Jake Krzeczowski October 11, 2012 7:58AM

Originally Appeared for Chicago Sun-Times

Since the release of 2010’s “Teen Dream,” Baltimore, Md., band Beach House has vaulted them to the forefront of the indie scene.

With that jump has come more recognition, more album sales andbigger shows. On Thursday, the band, more prone to concerts in cozy venues take the stage at the 2,500 seat Riviera as part of their 2012 North American tour.

Beach House plays RiveriThursday.

Beach House, featuring French-born Victoria Legrand on vocals and and organ and Alex Scally on guitar and keyboard, played this summer at Pitchfork and have wrestled with the transition.

“We’re much more used to the smaller rooms and we’re just trying to figure out how to be ourselves in a bigger venue,” said Scally, whose methodic, airy guitar chords pace Legrand’s piercing vocals. “It’s great but it’s not always what we imagine a show to be like. There’s too much anonymity in the back, you can’t see everyone.”

While they may not be able to see all the fans at the venues, the upgraded seating capacity has allowed for more advanced production, an important aspect for a band that relies on careful instrumentation and vocals.

In 2010 the group signed with Sub Pop Records, joining indie heavyweights Fleet Foxes and The Shins on the label’s roster. The heightened recognition also meant more fans, some who came only knowing a song or two.

“We used to have people come knowing our whole album,” said Scally. “Our challenge now is to try to bring people into our world, to captivate people who may only know a handful of songs.”

Having played more than 500 shows since 2006, the duo obsesses over their live performances. They toy with everything from lighting to set list to make sure every listener is drawn in.

“It’s very much a story for us,” said Scally. “Hopefully we can pull someone who only knows a song or two into that world if we tell the story right. There’s only one option, which is to enter this world of ours.”

Earlier this year Scally and Legrand released their fourth album, “Bloom,” which reached No. 7 on Billboard’s 200. The latest offering is a transformative move from “Teen Dream,” dealing with shifting to a new realm and life on the road.

As for describing the “world” of Beach House, words are sparse.

“We sit down and we make this music instinctively,” said Scally “The feeling that takes over every record: it’s emotional, it’s spiritual, it’s intense.”

To be sure, the duo is anxious to bring that world to Chicago.

“We’ve had a good time in Chicago. It’s a place where people appreciate the music and don’t take things at face value; they experience things.”

Jake Krzeczowski is a local free-lance writer.

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