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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Review: Bedroom pop star beabadoobee blasts off into indie-rock stardom on ‘beatopia’ tour 

Following her “Coffee” debut, the up-and-coming artist achieves success with her musical versatility

By SUN YIE — arts@theaggie.org 

When beabadoobee entered the stage at Sacramento’s Ace of Spades on April 22, the crowd was quick to adorn her with flowers and red paper hearts before she could even speak. She prefaced her performance by admitting that she was sick: “You guys, I haven’t been feeling well since Coachella, but, since I love you all, I’m going to do my best.” She then rode the exuberant and encouraging cheers from the audience to launch into the first song of her set, “Worth It.”

The drummer and bassist’s explosive passion almost overwhelmed bea’s soft voice. At times, it was difficult to hear her sing at all — but the crowd compensated for this by roaring the lyrics on their own. bea’s music and the audience’s energy reverberated against the walls of the venue, and the ground itself felt as though it would give way to the hundreds of jumping feet. 

“Worth It,” a song from one of bea’s newer albums, “Fake It Flowers,” demonstrates her transition from a lo-fi, bedroom pop style of music to one that leans more towards grunge and alternative rock. The polarity between the two encapsulates the expression of an artist who is still discovering her sound and even herself, as bea disclosed in an interview with Vulture. “I remember… thinking I knew myself,” she said. “I didn’t know myself at all. It’s all in ‘Fake It Flowers.’”

bea’s grapple with her dichotomous self-expression surfaces in her stage set, in which she intermits her more intense, rock-heavy songs like “Care,” “Dye it Red” and “Worth It” with her gentler acoustic songs like “Coffee” and “Tired,” which first granted her acclaim.

After bea made an unforgettable entrance with “Worth It,” the flashing and roaming stage lights dimmed, rendering her the only visible figure on stage. She was then handed a classical guitar by one of her band members and remarked, “Everyone knows this one,” into her mic before strumming the familiar chords of “Coffee.” 

Though this is a stark contrast to her preceding song, the crowd seemed to enjoy this ephemeral, lulling reprieve, as they began swaying to her music. bea’s sole voice echoed across the venue and shaped the audience’s energy so that the room felt more intimate than before. She wasn’t not alone for long, though, as the audience members raised their phone flashlights to accompany her through the rest of the song. The combination of this sea of lights and bea’s solo performance produced a moment that is half heartwarming and half haunting, yet wholly captivating.

bea continued her set with “Talk,” a song from her most recent album, and a few songs from her other albums such as “Yoshimi, Forest, Magdalene” and “Dance With Me” before closing with a return to “Tired.” She ended her set by introducing her band members and bowing before the audience, which greeted the performers with astounding applause, leftover paper hearts and flower bouquets. 

beabadoobee proves her talent through her ability to deliver successful performances in both bedroom pop and grunge indie-rock — two genres of music that could not be more different from each other. In doing so, she not only demonstrates her musical versatility but also indicates her potential for even more growth; for now, though, she has already made a name for herself as an artist who can reach the hearts of teenagers and adults alike. 

Correction: The print version of this article incorrectly capitalized the artist’s name. The article has been corrected to reflect the correct capitalization.

Written by: Sun Yie — arts@theaggie.org

 

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