Real Estate and Bedouine played the Revolution Hall on February 22nd.
by Haley Grant
At the Revolution Concert Hall, a venue that resembles a vintage high school, Bedouine opens the show. Hailing from Syria and Saudi Arabia, her style harkens back to established folk singers like Vashti Bunyan or Sybille Bayer. Standing alone before the crowd, she plays an acoustic guitar and wears a bandana around her neck.
Bedouine has only one album under her name on Spotify. Released in 2017, the most popular track from the self-titled record is “Nice and Quiet,” which has over one million plays on the streaming app. Real Estate accompanies Bedouine for her last song, “One of These Days.” It’s the band’s first appearance on stage, after which they slink off for a brief intermission.
When they return, the band starts with the opening track from their latest album In Mind, called “Darling.” The song’s driving guitar melody opens the show well, and sets the tone for the night: serene beach vibes for a Thursday. Although, I wish they had saved my favorite song for later.
The highlight of the show was when the band played “Two Arrows,” another track from their new album. The song feels reminiscent of childhood, as the lyrics describe walking home with flashlights at night.
What begins as a laid-back melody, however, transitions halfway into a second melody of three contrasting chords. In the recording of the track, the song descends into a symphony of sound. Played live, the band can riff off their song, jamming for several minutes straight. The stage lights switch from calm yellows and blues to stark white floodlights that illuminate the dark room.
We go to live concerts for moments like the minutes of “Two Arrows,” when we hear the band create something unique and new in the moment. I guess you just had to be there.
Nearing the end of the night, the pianist begins the opening solo from “Saturday.” The piano notes are a shift from the larger sound of the full band. Just like for “Two Arrows,” the opening feels longer and more elaborate than what we’re used to hearing through our headphones at home. Eventually the slow piano melody divulges into the regular track, including guitar tones and a drumbeat at a quicker tempo.
The song itself brings about themes of nostalgia and childhood. The lyrics point to the frivolity of holding on the past and seem to encourage accepting the passage of time.
Their penultimate song is familiar to most millennials who grew up listening to indie rock. It’s “Beach Comber,” from their 2009 self-titled album. Sitting in a row behind the balcony, listening to singer Martin Courtney sing about Pensacola Beach, I notice the phrase “in mind” in the lyrics. It could be a coincidence, but maybe their 2017 album In Mind is a reference to their origins. Having been a band for almost a decade, and many of the members knowing each other since high school, perhaps Real Estate is feeling nostalgic after all this time.