A rousing audience of Stony Brook students was treated to the lo-fi beats of indie pop trio Best Coast. The band enthralled an audience of the hipster variety with a 50 minute set featuring some of their biggest hits.
Best Coast began their breezy and melodic set with “Wish He Was You,” off the Crazy For You LP. Best Coast’s enumerable 50s/60s inspired melodies pay direct homage to the Beach Boys. ‘Wish He Was You’ benefitted from the charismatic stage presence of lead singer Bethany Cosentino and the moody bass lines and leads of Bobb Bruno on his baritone guitar.
Boyfriend, perhaps their biggest hit, typifies the soothing vocals of Cosentino and the unique juxtaposition of lyric choice, and creates a nostalgic feel to the album. Cosentino’s lyrics dwell on absurdism, periods of self-doubt and unrequited love, though not always with humans: she dedicated a song to her cat “Snacks” on stage during “Goodbye.”
The trio started off a bit subdued, having just gotten off a cross-country flight. But by the end of the set, Cosentino was hopping around stage and energizing the crowd. Cosentino personally thanked a fan for his persistent tweeting to the Best Coast Twitter account. The infectious rhythms and lyrics of Best Coast reached a peak, as attendees participated in rambunctious clapping and slow sing-alongs towards the concert’s closure, giving drummer Ali Koehler a chance to showcase her talents displayed in the slower tracks.
At a press conference after the event, Cosentino and Koehler recounted a wild concert at Reed College in Portland (“it was bonkers”) and an underwhelming performance in front of a home crowd at UCLA (“one of the most uncomfortable, awkward performances ever”), reassuring Stony Brook that the venue and audience were at their best.
The band is just starting an East Coast tour that includes stops at Wellesley, Smith and Georgetown before joining Weezer for a few shows and heading back West.
Wednesday’s show was put on by the Undergraduate Student Government, which harkened back to the University’s iconic musical heyday of the 1970s and chose to revive the Stony Brook Concert Series.
The infrastructure needed to revive the concert series has been in place since the restructuring of the now defunct Student Brook Activities Board. In its place is the new Student Programming Agency. The rich tradition of legendary artists like The Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers Band descending upon the Stony Brook campus years ago came full circle as Norm Prusslin spoke. Prusslin, President of the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System, called for students to attend future Concert series events and restore the music scene on Long Island to it’s glory days.
The success of the Best Coast event was a good start, said Moiz Khan, Director of Event Programming.
“Stony Brook’s music scene has been dead for too long. It’s about damn time we have good music again,” he said.
For fans of Best Coast’s modern lo-fi band vocals, check out Beach House’s ‘Teen Dream’ album. The Drums and Surfer Blood are similar bands that resonant with the laid back feel of Best Coast’s “Crazy For You” LP.
Check out Best Coast’s performance of Boyfriend:
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