Dream pop, as a sub-genre, has been around for quite some time and the music that makes it up is probably familiar to most even if they’ve never heard it called “dream pop” before. A quick internet search for the genre will bring up bands like Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine – bands that are commonly classified as shoegaze – thus has been the story until 2018. This year, it seems, has been the year the genre finally started standing on its own two feet. In short, dream pop is having a moment.
At the helm of it all are indie rock icons and modern day dream pop pioneers Beach House, who played to a sold out crowd at The Depot on Tuesday night. Fans showed up in droves for the show, some waiting outside the venue for hours before doors. That’s not entirely surprising when you stop to consider the band’s longevity (they’ve released 8 full length albums over the course of 14 years) but when you consider their success in relation to their genre, a sold out show seems much more impressive. To boot, the crowd they drew was full of young, enthusiastic indie fans who knew every word to every song and hardly stopped rhythmically gyrating from the time opener Sound of Ceres took the stage.
The far-left-of-center performance by Sound of Ceres was another surprise of the night. Opening for a band like Beach House gives you some creative freedom, but weirdness isn’t always well-received by a crowd as big and diverse as this. Not the case on Tuesday night. Though decidedly smaller than Beach House’s eventual audience, the group who showed up early filled the space with positive energy in response to Sound of Ceres’ eclectic performance which included an incredibly involved laser show and a handful of costume changes.
Overall, the night was a sonic retreat. It was like being slowly wrapped in a warm blanket of organ sounds and droning guitars and elaborate soundscapes and then lulled to sleep by a formless beam of light with an airy, angelic voice. Maybe that’s too on the nose, but it feels pretty on brand for the iteration of dream pop that Beach House is captaining.