Beach Fossils drop the fop and simply rock


There are a lot of people out there that like to use their relatively vast knowledge of music to essentially shit on other bands or genres. For some reason, at some point, musical preferences have begun to reflect individual intellect, individual identity. And instead of simply liking what you like, people have begun considering the implications of liking certain music (What does liking Twisted Sister say about me?); which, pop-country music aside, is unnecessary. When a band has reviews criticizing the fact that they sound what you would expect a Brooklyn-based indie band to sound like, or are too reminiscent of certain songs by other bands, can we all admit we’ve taken this a bit too far?

Ask yourself, “Do you enjoy the music?” If the answer is yes, then continue listening. It is honestly that simple.

Thankfully, the hipster snobbery and periodic critics’ carping hasn’t seemed to affect Beach Fossils. They just play their music the way you would play music you were really in to. They bounce all over the stage, throwing their bodies and banging their heads, sending their long, moppish hair sailing back and forth as they strum their rippling chords.

Lead singer and guitarist Dustin Payseur charmed the audience at the packed Empty Bottle, telling us all that he hoped they could play another good show in Chicago, like the one they had last year. The crowd assured him with an uproar of support.

The band dropped their signature dousing of reverb for the live show, which gave them a different feel. But after a couple of songs, it was forgotten anyway.

Occasionally, guitarist Cole Smith would finger his hair away from his face and reveal his arms from his poncho-sized sweater while grabbing the mic in order to say something completely off-the-wall, like “Who’s fasting?” or a remark about the cosmos; making the brief silences between songs a moment for inner-monologued “What the fuck’s” and confused looks.

Eventually, Payseur was able to get a mosh-pit going. Drunk girls were blindsided, drinks were spilled on to people, and egos remained suprisingly intact. It was a thing of beauty.

Without leaving the stage, Beach Fossils played one additional song (“Daydream”) after their “this is gonna be our last song” for their encore.

The intensity of the crowd was entirely the product of the intensity Beach Fossils generated on stage throughout the night. It was a great show. It was the way shows ought to be: unencumbered by image and critical reviews, just enjoyable, good music played loud.