I’ve never really understood what singing to the heavens would be like, but I imagine it would sound something like what Bethany Cosentino did last night at the Wiltern.
I was a little hesitant to buy tickets to this show because while I looove both Best Coast albums, their show at the Fonda with Wavves was a little messy sounding. In retrospect that was probably due to the lack of a bass player and some questionable sound at the venue, or maybe it’s because now they’ve been through the Jon Brion finishing school, because they sounded amazing at the Wiltern last night.
My other concern was that while Best Coast’s albums are so harmony-heavy their live shows only feature Bethany’s vocals. Again, no need to be concerned, a lot of those harmonies are covered in the guitar parts and lost in those buckets of reverb anyway (I mean I’d still love to hear some harmonies in their live shows, but Bethany can more than fill that room with her voice.)
Like their latest album “The Only Place,” Best Coast’s Wiltern set was very focused on Bethany Cosentino’s voice, which is really how it should be. The show was the perfect evolution of the classic singer-songwriter to rock band: Take one part soaring vocals, add a dash of electric guitar strums, throw in some California reverb, mix and go. Bob Dylan seemed to have a bit more trouble with this transition.
Here’s the setlist:
The Only Place
Last Year (with Jon Brion)
Crazy For You
When The Sun Don’t Shine
No One Like You (with Jon Brion)
How They Want Me to Be
Why I Cry
Dreaming My Life Away (with Jon Brion)
Let’s Go Home (with Jon Brion)
Do You Love Me Like You Used To
Up All Night
I Want To
Sun Was High (So Was I)
Storms (Fleetwood Mac cover)
When I’m With You