It is no secret that Fredericton isn’t the main destination for touring bands when they come to Canada.
Whenever your favourite band announces a string of shows, if they stop in Canada the usual locations would be Vancouver, Toronto and/or Montreal. Though it hurts, it is somewhat understandable. Half the time I wish I were somewhere other than Fredericton. So when a band chooses to come here even if they don’t really have to, well, cheers to them.
When my conversation with Alex Scally of Beach House began, I wasn’t sure he would even know where Fredericton was, so I made sure. He asked where I was calling from, and I explained that he would be playing here on Friday, Oct. 10 and that I was somewhere on the east coast of Canada. He probably already knew that of course, as he and Victoria Legrand have been travelling through Canada for almost a month now, on a “Northern Exposure Tour.” With shows in Victoria and Nelson, B.C. to stops in Saskatoon and Thunder Bay, the Baltimore based “dream-pop” band has finally gotten to do something they have always wanted: To tour the “True North.”
“I guess cause they are just out of the way and usually when an album comes out there is a lot of pressure to play the hugest cities,” explained Scally on why the duo have not been able to tour the country as extensively as they would have liked in the past. “We’re kind of in this period where we’re not doing much, so we thought it was the perfect opportunity.”
Beach House’s latest release was 2012’s Bloom, which was given four-and-a-half stars from Consequence of Sound and a 9.1 rating from Pitchfork. While recording music is great, playing live shows is where the band is happiest.
Scally describes performances as a place to “study,” where he and Legrand can see if a song works. “In the recording studio everything is really controlled and you can hear everything really clearly. In a live environment, everything is changing every single night, so I think you actually really can test things.”
While every night a song can sound different or get a different reaction, that is the always case with touring. “You’ll go to a city once and get this distinct impression of it and think you know what is going on, and then the next time you can have your perception completely change.”
And that is the mindset that Beach House will have with them when they touch down in Fredericton early Friday morning. Scully asked for recommendations on things to do or places to check out while the band is in town, and though it will be the second last show of the tour, the guitar player genuinely seemed interested and excited to come. After hearing his thoughts on the rest of Canada – British Columbia was beautiful; he was told that Winnipeg was Canada’s version of Baltimore and Thunder Bay was one of his favourite shows of the tour – I just hope the east coast can leave as positive an impression as the rest of our country.
Maybe this will be the start of something big.