Where KISS clothed themselves in the robes of demons, Beach House doesn’t deign to clothe themselves in anything resembling the human form. Why taint themselves with garments of heathens when you could wear physical varieties of light and colour, masking any remnant of humanity or mundanity left. Touring for the first time since 2016, Baltimore dream pop duo Beach House take over Adelaide University with beams of light, sound and mystically hues.
Shouting to the crowd, “We are cosy, forget about the classrooms and neon!” the audience stands, captivated looking directly at the strobes, practicing for the potential future trips and pre-death body-convulsing fits. Whether you were sober, inebriated, or full of a Hippie’s last exhale, you stood there enthralled in daydreams, like a young girl imagining a different end to her piano lesson. One that involves Bastian and a long flying daschund-like creature named Falkor.
As the music sways with ethereal melodies, the stark background of pure light shifts colours dramatically, silhouetting the artists in mysterious shadow. The colours change in nostalgic fashion as your inner child shouts to itself, “This is an Art Attack. This is an Art Attack. This is! ART ATTACK!”
The enjoyment of the show, however, is covered in a darker shroud; like the smoke blanketing the stage. The controversial use of the Adelaide University as a Fringe venue divides students and festival revellers into those who see it as a great opportunity for exposure and press for the university, and those that see it as a crass ploy that hasn’t thought of the student’s welfare. Property and reputation damage has already occurred, which isn’t surprise for a venue that leaves drunkards regularly pissing on a historic library, vomiting fertiliser on 50+ year old trees and university facilities broken into; robbed. Asking students at the event, the opinion is certainly negative. An undergraduate student was happy to be quoted, stating, “the University has been taken over by the RCC; you can’t really escape it. [I’d] say the University sold its soul, but apparently they gave it away free of charge”.
Remaining as a stoic and objective concert attendee, only two things were certain. Beach House delivered and the Maths Lawns have been taken over by the iconic smell of Maggi Cup noodles and weed.
Listen to Beach House’s seventh studio album (aptly named 7) on Spotify today, and have a think about how we choose to utilise our city’s facilities and tertiary education grounds in the future.
By Grace Kungel