After seeing Beatrice Laus perform at the 9:30 Club this past Monday, I can firmly say she is a 21st-century alt-rock pacesetter. The 21-year-old singer-songwriter, recognized more widely by her stage name, beabadoobee, is perhaps best known for her hit single “Coffee,” a saccharine, acoustic take on waking up next to a significant other.
It was a song that I had heard before and liked, but wasn’t floored by. And having only listened to that song before attending beabadoobee’s concert, I was surprised to find the full spectrum of her discography is far from mellow. On the contrary — evinced by the various mosh pits that broke out on the floor throughout her set — she rocks out pretty hard.
From the moment I pulled up to the 9:30 Club, the crowd’s collective aesthetic pointed me to this fact. As I walked past a winding line of fans dark, muted colors filled my line of sight, and I silently thanked the force that had possessed me to sport a gray monochrome ensemble with black Doc Martens. I fit right in — or at least I felt like I did.
Once inside I made my way to the upper level, which offered an expansive view of the floor below. I looked out over the crowd, identifying a sea of floating beanies, dyed-pink hair and some lingering Halloween wear. And, in typical Gen-Z fashion, there was not a single side part in sight.
There were a few middle-aged folk — who I guessed were chaperones — scattered among the throng of young people. But in general the audience’s energy was palpable, filling the space with the fiery disquietude only youth can produce.
Openers BLACKSTARKIDS and Christian Leave were met with enthusiasm from the audience, but nothing could compare to the uproarious greeting beabadoobee received when she strolled across the stage to start her set.
Her first song, “Sun More Often,” urged the crowd to “go out and see/the sun more often,” an almost mocking reminder of the slipping daylight hours. But looking out over the sea of mesmerized faces in the audience, I got the sense that they were witnessing their own sunrise. beabadoobee’s light didn’t diminish throughout her set either, seeming only to ramp up as the songs rolled on and she fed off the potent energy of the crowd.
“This one’s a fast one,” she said over the rising music of her garage rock-tinged song, “Together.” “I want you guys to move. I wanna see some mosh pits!”
The audience on the floor below obeyed dutifully, splitting nearly down the middle and spreading out to the corners of the room like an amoeba at war with itself. I watched as the front of the group balanced delicately on bent knees, preparing to throw their whole bodies into the song. When beabadobee reached the chorus and sang, “’Cause I’m not waiting for you/but I don’t want to hurt you,“ the crowd came back together in a violent collision of bobbing hands and heads.
It was as if they were gearing up for this moment their whole lives, conserving their energy until this ultimate moment of liberation. beabadoobee’s music, intimate and complex, seemed to be the catalyst for an important emotional reckoning.
“That was sick,” beabadoobee exclaimed.
A fan’s voice, coming from somewhere in the back of the club, said loudly, “Beatrice rocks.”
beabadoobee didn’t say anything in response, but her playful smile intimated a gratitude for which she had no words.
Right then, I made a mental note that I agreed. beabadoobee rocks in all kinds of ways — in music, most notably, but also in disposition. She’s got a warm, genuine aura that takes up the space she occupies, but that still leaves room for other people’s energy to fill the atmosphere. That’s a pretty rockin’ gift.
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