On record, Best Coast’s super-simple three-chord progressions and girly lyrics are not just cute—they’re downright infectious. It’s a fact proved many times over by last year’s breakout hit, Crazy for You, which still finds itself being bumped from my car on occasion. Live, though, Best Coast has its hits and its misses. Hit: Leading lady Bethany Cosentino is just as dry, brash, and punk rock as you dreamed her to be. Miss: That über-girly speak-sing can get a little grating.
For Sunday’s packed show at SOhO, Cosentino kept it short and sweet, barreling through a lengthy setlist chock-full of three-minutes-or-less punk pop tunes—and finishing sans encore at just past 11 p.m. Fans got the favorites (“Boyfriend,” “Summer Mood”), brand-spanking-new jams, and older cuts. They also got Cosentino’s special brand of onstage banter (read: some light crowd mocking and a few asides about weed and who in the audience was on their period). In exchange, fans lit up, loudly professed their love, and, at times, even laughed at Cosentino’s jokes.
But awkward crowd interactions and repetitive song structures aside, Sunday’s show did bring the rock. Cuts like “I Want To” and “When I’m With You” started like most—lovelorn vocals and slowly grinding guitars—but exploded into ecstatic, drum-driven glee, and made for some of the best, bop-along moments of the summer thus far.