Live Review: Beach Fossils at Holocene

Words by Shayna Chabrow

Beach Fossils immediately set the tone for their entire show the minute they stepped onto the Holocene stage. The trio walked out humorously with frontman Dustin Payseur dawning an M&M branded, NASCAR styled jacket, Jack Doyle Smith rocking a bucket hat, and Tommy Davidson speaking into the microphone with an English accent, impersonating a member of Oasis. The room instantly took in their vibe and it was clear that these guys weren’t just forced to play in a band together, but they were legitimately best friends having a good time playing music.

Beach Fossils began their set with “Shallow,” a song off of their most lauded and darkest album Clash The Truth and eased into “Youth” off their debut self-titled album. They then began their string of new songs with “This Year,” the first track off their most recent and eclectic album yet, Somersault. Somersault is filled with lively percussions and full sounds of string, brass, and woodwind instruments. It seemed that it would be hard to replicate the sound on stage without a full orchestral and jazz band backing them up, but they quickly disproved this notion by having a spirited sole trumpeter masterfully take over those key, instrumental parts and a keyboard to occupy the rest.

Beach Fossils brought with them a warm atmosphere as they continued to casually talk to members of the crowd. Midway through their set, Payseur announced that this show was particularly specially because his parents were in the room. He amusingly alluded that his father was high before going into a song request from him. Before playing “Sleep Apnea,” Payseur asked for everyone to get their lighters out, and the slow, melodic song was miraculously turned into a nostalgic moment. What’s incredible about this band is that they’re able to skillfully take these tender moments and rip them into shreds. During “Careless,” one of the band’s most raucous tracks Payseur jumped to the floor and went directly into the crowd, parting them like the sea, each person giving him room to wail on his guitar.

The closing of their show is unlike anything, any other band is currently doing on tour. Payseur came back on stage wearing the bucket hat and sunglasses that were too small for his face and urgently began sarcastically preaching into the microphone before serving “Jesus Fucking Christ” while holding up a bible. His band began playing a hard rock styled frenzy as Payseur went to his knees and began ripping pages out of the bible. Half of the crowd laughed while the other half shouted with him. If they weren’t so damn good at playing music, they would need to be in a comedy troupe.

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