Live Review: The Besnard Lakes Are A Vast Wonder Unto Their Own by Trish Connelly/Raphael Umscheid

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Photography by Raphael Umscheid ( Instagram )
Words by Trish Connelly ( Instagram )


Arriving early for The Besnard Lakes’ set in downtown Austin, Barracuda’s inside stage provided a spacious yet intimate environment for attendees to plant themselves up close for the band’s eagerly awaited set after their last designated date in the city was cancelled (due to their vehicle getting damaged after a snowstorm and hitting a deer). Opening with dialogue that embraced the ethereal and wondrous nature of their name, The Besnard Lakes delved into “Pressure of Our Plans” to a cheering and spirited crowd. Exuding harmonious melodies from married duo’s Jace Lasek’s unmistakable falsetto and Olga Goreas’ expansive vocals, drummer Kevin Laing, guitarist Robbie MacArthur and keyboardist/vocalist Sheenah Ko added multiple layers of atmospheric textures along with the Besnard’s crafted genius for intense build ups. Focusing on songs from their 2016 album, A Coliseum Complex Museum, the band also broaches into older territory with “Devastation” off 2007’s The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse and a personal favorite “Albatross” from 2010’s … Are the Roaring Night. Teetering on the brink of graceful fragility and stunning vocals, “Albatross” flowed flawlessly into a heavy and raw performance paired with pulsating multicolored lights, casting shadows and a vibrancy so intense it coursed through the audience’s bones. The five piece bonded impeccably for their singles “A Golden Lion” and the psychedelic undertones of “The Plain Moon”, a steady backbone provided by Laing and swirling reverb mixed with Beach Boys-esque falsetto throughout. The Besnard Lakes didn’t disappoint with their encore, exploring a world of atmospheric and spiritual tendencies for the duration of their hour and a half set. Long time fans and newly turned Bezzie Mates in Austin can only hope it won’t be as long of a wait to witness their live performance the next time around.










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