Vocalist and guitarist Martin Courtney, guitarist Julian Lynch, bassist and vocalist Alex Bleeker, keyboardist Matt Kallman, and drummer Jackson Pollis of Real Estate extended the sounds of their dreamy soft rock discography to the crowds of Outside Lands in a true display of its casual energy.
The sound of the New Jerseyan rock band is like a higher-pitched, uptempo Beach House. The music is solid — there are no pauses for breaths or empty spaces between the first set of lyrics and the onset of the chorus left unfilled by mellow keyboard melodies.
Tingly cymbals proliferated in the drumline and the three electric guitarists at the front of the stage (Courtney, Bleeker and Lynch) played blurry, layered harmonies reminiscent of a piano held on sustain.
Dressed in baseball caps and sweaters, the members of Real Estate appeared relaxed, rolling out a blanket of soft rock in the seemingly effortless way you know really isn’t. It wasn’t until the final song of their set when the long musical intro and outro proved their capacity for intensity.
Sustaining an arpeggiated progression of interlocking chords in their finale song “All the Same,” the band members bobbed their heads in concentration and self-appreciation. Thin white spotlights swirled above them, sparse and geometric, the only thing sharply distinct about the show onstage.
While Real Estate’s music couldn’t easily be called accessible — no one distinguishable guitar melody or sing-along-able stanza of lyrics was present — the band’s performance drew a large crowd to the stage, packing in people who wanted to simmer in the hazy vibes all the way up the sides of the neighboring hill.
The soft atmosphere from the overcast sky seemed friendly more than chilly in the company of a thousand people all swaying to the same music. Outside Lands may be stacked predominantly with buoyant pop artists, but Real Estate made room for its easygoing sound.
Daniel Kim/Senior Staff
Olivia Jerram covers music. Contact her at [email protected].