A change of venue, but not a change of purpose – back out again for another Splendour sideshow. Luckily I came prepared and checked out the name of the support act, given that the set went along without introductions. But the early sounds came from Totally Mild, with a sound made up of angelic vocals set to minimalist tunes. The contrast is interesting, but not anywhere near the upbeat tunes that may have been warranted for a Saturday night, despite a cheery lead singer that eagerly thanked the crowd at the end of each song. Still, there were a couple of stand outs with the intricate melody of Battleship and the haunting vocals of The Next Day delivered with incredibly control.
But walking on stage set to something far heavier and resounding cheers welcomed California’s Best Coast with their trademarked sun-drenched rock and sweet vocals of The Only Place. The lead up to this gig had been spent essentially cramming on back catalogue after being super impressed with the band’s latest offering on California Nights. Fittingly, and new sounds came early by way of Heaven Sent, being just a little heavier courtesy of some impressively thundering drums from the stage and continuing to dominate through the night along with a heavy share of tunes from the band’s 2012 album, The Only Place.
Graced with melodic bliss courtesy of Do You Love Me Like You Used To? and the catchy Crazy For You almost made up for the lack of banter and chatter. Anyone expecting engaging exchanges and thoughtful prose between songs would have been bitterly disappointed – this was nothing but wall to wall sounds and the odd thank you.
Rock they can, but Best Coast can also charm with a slower tune as they did with No One Like You but with So Unaware and California Nights, that distinctly different sound of the latest album became ever more apparent – a little heaver, a little more harmony, and perhaps even a few more guitar licks thrown in with an extra ray of sunshine.
Another charmer came by way of I Don’t Know How, complete with faultless vocals from Bethany Cosentino and throwing in a few more tunes from the new album before a single song encore of Boyfriend, helped along by more unrelenting cheers from the crowd.