2015 is soon coming to an official end, but not in vain. This year’s music has made strides on unique, verbose and wildly eclectic platforms across the board. From Drake’s show stopping “Hotline Bling” release to the glorious reemergence of soulful songbird Adele and her record-breaking hit “Hello,” music has jumped leaps and bounds to please the masses this year. In honor of a particularly special year in music, Spin Magazine hosted its annual Year in Music event Thursday night at The Regent in downtown Los Angeles. The event boasted a rather random line of free swag including bags of popcorn and free cell phones. It also promised an even more curious lineup with openers Alex G and Tink, interluding DJ sets by Yacht, and headliner Best Coast. Outside, the ominous rain blanketed the streets of DTLA with a slippery coat of wet, clearly deterring some guests from attending the free show as the venue’s general admission pit floor in front of the stage was sparsely filled throughout the night. It proved to be the MacDonald’s of concerts – quickly attracting people into the space with flashy musical bait and then making them exit quickly after they had their fill.
Things run much smoother once the music starts. Fresh youngster Alex G emerged as one of the top acts to watch at SXSW this past March. Certainly, he lives up to his reputation as such drawing in the bulk of the audience by the beginning of his set. His album Beach Music even makes Spin‘s top ten rank on the 50 Best Albums of 2015 list. The long breaks between sets are perforated with Yacht’s danceable electronic melodies – a nice way to keep the people guessing. Next up, hip hop diva Tink jumps on stage with two male backup dancers in tow. Though her music catalog is not too lengthy, she still manages to entertain and engage the crowd enough to keep them at bay. Mid-set she takes a side stage break to let her dancers steal the show. Their free style dancing is wackily entertaining as they literally jump and flip across the stage. She returns and wins more hearts in the crowd by encouraging everyone to get drunk and high if they are not already there.
The night seems to be slipping away as another long break scares away a few stragglers from the space. Yacht once again flips the switch back to a more indie vibe hoping to segue smoothly into the headlining set and keep people around to the end. Best Coast steps up to the plate and knocks it out of the park. Founding members Bethany Consentino and Bobb Bruno full out their live shows with a full band, bringing their beachy indie pop to life. The group does right playing a hefty helping’s worth of songs off this year’s new album California Nights. Kicking off the set with “Feeling Okay” informs the crowd that they are in for a long stream of new music. Their new stuff holds true to form – light and easy to follow with a dash of Southern Texan level Americana love for all things California. An even truer sign that the band has moved forward is Consentino’s jaw-dropping newer look. Thankfully, someone finally told her about the chicness of black. She dons a black mesh top with black high waisted leather shorts and black tights. Five years ago, she would undoubtedly be ruffling through Mary Kate Olsen’s closet for tribal mumu to wear on stage. Now, she owns the fact that she is a female leading a full male band and embraces and projects her femininity through fashion, rather than hiding behind it as she has in the past. Another pleasing factor is the return to the band’s archives when they play some favorites such as “Our Deal” and ending on a confetti filled sing-a-long of “Boyfriend.” All in all, they prove that Best Coast 3.0 is indeed an improvement
Other photos from the night
photo credit Owen Ela