Live Review: Beach House; RIP Luigi Waites…

Category: Reviews — @ 5:40 pm April 6, 2010

by Tim McMahan,

The highlight of last night’s Beach House concert at The Waiting Room: 50 people packed into the venue’s pinball room with 13.6 seconds left in regulation of the NCAA men’s basketball finals. It was like a beer commercial, the booths crammed with fans (mostly guys) glued to the plasma, praying for a miracle while across the cavernous venue on stage roared one of indie’s best dream-pop bands. As the shot tipped off the rim and into a Duke player’s hands, a groan of disgusted frustration drowned out the hall, and within seconds the crowd of sports fans joined the rest of the throng, not thinking of music but of what could have been.

I felt a bit guilty spending the first half of their set watching basketball, but then I figured, hell, I paid for the ticket, I can do what I want. And besides, there wasn’t much to see on stage. Beach House pretty much played in the dark, with just a couple of the spots glowing. The staging consisted of huge silvery diamonds that rotated during their set, lit by ground spots that also made the band glow. Silver streamers were draped from the rafters. Meanwhile, the band’s guitarist and drummer played seated (not on a drum riser) and couldn’t be seen above the crowd. Frontwoman Victoria Legrand stood behind her keyboard in the back of the stage and never moved except to shake her long, flowing hair. Visually, a boring show.

Sonically, however, Beach House was nothing less than amazing. The sound couldn’t have been better; every note of their chamber pop echoed and glowed as they played all the songs from Teen Dream. Between numbers, they talked about Malcolm X and the Omaha Beef and 311, dedicating songs to each of them.

The show was a sell-out (finally), and the place was packed. When I got there a little after 9 opening band Bachelorette already was almost done with her one-person lap-top-driven set of dense, plodding electronic dance pop. I was told that Beach House had asked to start the show at 8, which of course wasn’t possible as the tickets were sold for a 9 p.m. show. Regardless, the whole evening was over by 11:15, which was a blessing for those of us who had to go to work the next morning.

* * *

The Omaha World-Herald is reporting that Omaha jazz legend Luigi Waites passed away early this morning at the age of 82. I’d seen him play a few times at the Dundee Dell, but my favorite memory of Luigi was chatting with him after he opened for The Good Life at Sokol Underground back in 2003. We stood next to each other, leaning on a table back by the sound board, and he told me how much he loved playing with Omaha’s “new bands” like the Good Life and The Faint. Those bands and their fans loved him right back. He will be missed.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area.

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