June 23 — Up-and-coming rockers, Best Coast, brought a delicious taste of California to Austin Tuesday night at Emo’s. Their recently released album, California Nights, had been rumored to be quite different than the band’s previous work, and the rumor rings true. While their lyrical content might sound familiar (breakups, makeups, boyfriends, drugs!), their sound has grown more mature and a bit heavier than fans have grown accustom to. This made no difference at Emo’s however, the crowd ate it all up.
Singer Bethany Cosentino sang fiercely, and bandmate Bobb Bruno shredded relentlessly on the guitar while they played a good mix of old and new songs. Though normally advertised as a duo, they now perform as a five-piece, and each member seems to play an important role, filling the stage with pure rock and roll energy.
Another highlight of the show was Best Coast’s opening band, Bully, who started the night off right. A four-piece from Nashville with grungy attire and a petite frontwoman with long blonde hair, they picked up their instruments and introduced themselves, but no one knew what was coming next. Their first song, “I Remember”, likely shocked the entire crowd when Alicia Bognanno began screaming into the microphone (no, not singing, screaming), and she was extremely good at it. Throughout Bully’s performance, we learned that Bognanno can not only scream, but can also transition without fault to a silky, delicate voice that is just as powerful. Bognanno, along with Stewart Copeland, Clayton Parker, and Reece Lazarus all proved to have great onstage chemistry. The band was on stage celebrating the release of their first album, Feels Like, putting the band in spectacular moods. Many people were seen leaving the show with a copy of Feels Like on vinyl. The combination of their energetic performance and garage rock sound was a great way to get the crowd excited for the headliner
Best Coast continued the night with a powerhouse performance, with Cosentino remaining rather professional in front of the mic, thanking the crowd repeatedly between songs. There wasn’t too much interaction with the crowd, though Cosentino got everyone clapping along during “Crazy for You”, an older and upbeat tune. Beth and Bobb did make some humorous exchanges throughout the show, displaying their unique bond, despite the age difference. Regardless of the limited interaction, everyone seemed entranced, having a great time watching and listening to this very dreamy, very Californian performance. Best Coast will only be doing us a favor if they keep doing their thing, exploring their new sound, and return to Texas soon.