I was fortunate enough to snag a ticket to Beach Fossils last-minute show on Monday March 14 at the Union! They had just come from playing the Burger x Observatory Festival in Santa Ana, which I was sadly unable to attend, so I was delighted to discover they would be making a stop in L.A. to play a $10 show at a venue I’d never heard of or been to!
This was another solo mission for the books, as the show sold out quickly. The Union is in the Arlington Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, and on the outside looks like a discoteca with an attempted transformation into a show venue. The layout of the interior is interesting… an island bar in the middle of the room cut made it seem less spacious than it was, and to see the bands I had to really work my way into the crowd.
I arrived in the middle of the very opening act, Jerry Paper. His set was more of a performance art piece with some noise in the background, as he danced oddly shirtless in a silk floral robe and hand-freeing mic headset. I enjoyed some of the electronic beats, and it helped that he was really into his performance. The music had a very ambient vibe—the kind I’d maybe listen to in the background.
Next up was Slow Hollows—unwashed and emotional baby-faced boys, but I thought they were brilliant. They played Indie-Rock, with a Velvet Underground inspired sound. I was impressed with how deep the lead singer’s voice was…it was unexpected considering he looked like he hadn’t yet hit puberty. Their sound paired simple, expected chord changes with interesting transitions and guitar licks. I loved the gentleness of their performance of “Okay,” and the line, “take your time, you know you’ll be okay,” in the chorus. Their talent was true and pure.
But, the crowd really got excited when Beach Fossils took the stage. It’s interesting to me how Beach Fossils live performance can come across as more punk rock influenced. There’s a softness of their music when listening to the recordings that gives the live performance a bit of an edge. The mosh pit started immediately on the opening note, and didn’t stop until their performance of “Sleep Apnea,” which was a beautiful slowing intermission to their set.
Beach Fossils have such a badass attitude on stage. At one moment, lead singer and guitarist Dustin even put down his guitar and jumped into a crowdsurf-accepting crowd, and somehow ended up back on the stage so gracefully. I loved that they played songs like “Twelve Roses” from White Fence, their earliest album. Dustin shared with us that Jack Tatum from Wild Nothing was supposed to join them on stage to perform a cover of “Whip It” by Devo, but that they were all too hungover after the Burger Festival to practice it! Unfortunate, yes, but also funny. They closed the show with “Daydream” off White Fence and I was able to make my way into the VIP area to snap this awesome video, in all it’s inde-post-punk-rock crowdsurfing glory. Good times!
Watch Beach Fossils live performance of Daydream: