Best Coast delights at the Middle East

, Contributing Writer

This week, the Middle East played host to one of the most highly anticipated club shows of the fall concert season, as Best Coast made their Boston debut. With the venue packed to a point rarely seen on a weekend, let alone a Tuesday night, the feeling of excitement was electric and the L.A. based indie-rockers did not disappoint.

With their unique brand of ‘60s sunshine-pop meet ‘90s fuzzed-out power-pop, their sound is both charming and direct. The songs are mostly light, but there is sense of intensity conveyed that keeps Best Coast from being just another mid-tempo indie-pop band. This is due in part to Bethany Cosentino’s voice, which is thick, charged and emotionally honest. Her singing on songs like “I Want You,” and “Boyfriend” lifted the songs out of their simple patterns and luckily the vocal levels were perfect all night.

Best Coast powered through their hour long set featuring songs off their debut album, Crazy About You, thrilling fans with a lively and engaging show. The band also demonstrated a level of maturity that is lacking in most new bands by sculpting a perfectly paced set list, with the best songs sprinkled throughout the performance.

One reason, and there are many, Best Coast has become one of the most buzzed about bands of 2010 is due to their tremendous consistency. It’s been said about other artists, but it’s still a winning formula; if you like one their songs you’ll probably like them all. The drumming on most songs, provided by Vivian Girls’ Ali Koehler, focused the tried and true rock and roll backbeat and guitarist Bobb (yes two bs) Bruno bolstered the songs with a mixture of bass-like root note playing, and simple fills that flushed out and thickened the sound without drawing much attention.

They are, in short, a band of economy, squeezing out as much as possible from very small subtleties and differences between songs. They flowed through the girl-pop of “Crazy for You,” the nostalgia laced “Summer Mood” and plaintive emotions of “Our Deal” easily and seamlessly, allowing each song a slight space and breathing room, but still keeping driving pace that is their biggest debt to their semi-punk roots.

This economy and contained structure helps keep the focus on the vocals, which is smart, because at heart these are sing-a-longs. When Consentino got the crowd involved, an already solid and enjoyable performance got even more so, and it was these highlights that undoubtedly created even more Best Coast walking out than walked

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