Concert Review: Best Coast and Prissy Clerks at First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN – July 31, 2013

Concert Review: Best Coast and Prissy ClerksBest_Coast_2013July31-339

  • First Avenue
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • July 31, 2013
Published by Jeff Becker on August 1, 2013

The California-based duo Best Coast have incrementally gone from uber lo-fi recording artists to having a recent track from 2012’s album The Only Place featured on a Microsoft Windows 8 commercial.  Not a bad leap at all, especially if you’re still a hold-out fan from the lo-fi sound on their debut.   Since then they’ve toured relentlessly with a sound that is part Cali-pop but primarily tunes that derive significantly from the first 4 years of the Beatles and even tapping into the sound (skiffle) that influenced the early Beatles.   Now as blasphemous as it is to really compare anyone to the Beatles that doesn’t have the name of Dylan, Prince or Yorke – Best Coast is clearly thriving (and thankfully so) in an era where the credible music listening public has had more than enough Katy Perry’s and American Idol sign-along girls.   Partnered with Bobb Bruno (who is the perfect, oddly shaped counterpart to Cosentino’s eight feet of exposed long legs), they’ve paved the slow road of legitimate, genuine curiosity as their touring comes full circle, and their next album becomes an inevitable must-have.

In a live setting, I hear all Beatles.  And then some more Beatles.   Revolver/Rubber Soul-style Beatles all Best_Coast_2013July31-18over the place, and yes, maybe a little California touch creates that old inevitable cliche of “driving with the top down” but these 3-minute pop songs are a 1965 revival, and quite well done.   As noted in our review last year, the secret weapon here isn’t necessarily the wonderfully talented Bruno, but it’s Cosentino’s voice, which is a genuine gem of an instrument.  It’s the most powerful sound on the stage and her talented singing is unquestioned.  Mix that in with good looks, cute pop compositions, an eclectic looking duo and what you have is a perfect storm brewing with the indie crowds.  These are the bands that get shared via social media in large chunks.

The show highlight is still, and may forever be, the 4 minutes of accidental pop genius called “Our Deal”, still burned in our memory somewhat by the Drew Barrymore directed video from a couple years ago off their debut album.   It’s Cosentino in her finest voice and melody alike.  While the new album has a much better production quality than the debut, this track stands Best_Coast_2013July31-220alone.

Playful with the crowd in tiny, odd spurts, Cosentino was clearly in more of a ‘let’s plug in the amps and get it going night’.   She wasn’t there to show off her charm and looks, she wanted to sing some songs and I loved the workman approach versus any drunken stupor of dozens of First Avenue bands (hello, Replacements).  If we want to stare at Bethany we can go print an 8×10.  On this night she chose to rock and even McCartney/Lennon would have been clapping at the end of this 75 minute set filled with slices of wonderful pop.


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