Beams of bright golden light filtered down from above the stage, dancing upon the eagerly awaiting crowd. Girls sporting a distinct ‘90s aesthetic filled the venue, with a smattering of boys as their matching counterparts in ‘90s-style tight jeans and plain T-shirts. The energy of The Regency Ballroom was youthful and alive, as the audience members waited in anticipation for beabadoobee.
Bea Kristi, who goes by the stage name beabadoobee, is a Filipinx-British artist who recently gained international attention with the release of her single “Coffee” in September 2017. Since then, she has released three albums: Patched Up, Loveworm and her new EP Space Cadet. The singer is currently touring with Clairo and performed at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco on Oct. 13.
Breaking the crowd’s anticipation, beabadoobee suddenly appeared onstage, dressed in mom jeans and an oversized hoodie, with her distinctive blue hair done up in space buns. The crowd roared in elation at her presence, pushing forward as beabadoobee picked up a black electric guitar, walked calmly to the mic and launched right into “Apple Cider” from her album Loveworm.
The upbeat melody of the music blended with beabadoobee’s gentle and unique voice, which infused a lighthearted playfulness into the song. The crowd sang along to the lyrics “We both like apple cider,” with new listeners quickly picking up the simple lyrics.
Beabadoobee followed this with “Ceilings” and “Angel,” as the stage lights switched to a brilliant purple, falling upon the crowd but leaving the stage and its performers in darker lighting. The effortless presence of beabadoobee, enveloped in the dim lighting and accompanied by her gorgeous vocals, kept the crowd entranced in the soft and simple rhythm of her songs.
Finishing up “Angel,” beabadoobee proceeded to greet the crowd and introduce her bandmates. The singer’s British accent, which carried a sweet and liquid quality, sent the crowd into a frenzy as she introduced her next song, “She Plays Bass” off of her new EP Space Cadet.
The hall was filled with a renewed energy as beabadoobee launched into the catchy, jangly song, reminiscent of ‘90s indie rock. A small mosh pit began to form in the front center of the crowd, and by the time the last chords rang out, the entire crowd was being forcefully pushed from side to side in a collection of moving bodies. Shouts went up from the crowd after the largest collective push, which crescendoed from one side of the hall to the other.
Beabadoobee followed this with her newest hit single, “I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus,” also from Space Cadet, which has brought the singer glowing reviews from various publications; Rolling Stone, for example, acknowledged the singer’s growth beyond bedroom pop into therapeutic alt-rock. The crashing of the drums and the moody melody of the guitars meshed with beabadoobee’s effortless vocals to highlight the song’s raw lyrics.
Slowing down the set, the first chords of “Disappear” rang out, and the emotional song –– one that centers on losing a lover –– filled the hall. The soft and simple music framed beabadoobee’s gorgeous voice to create an atmosphere of serenity, within which the crowd slowly swayed from side to side, transfixed by the singer’s presence and powerful lyrics. Strumming her guitar and gazing out at the crowd, beabadoobee implored, “Why’d you have to f—ing disappear?”
To close her set, beabadoobee switched out her black guitar for a smaller, personalized, pink-and-white electric guitar, adorned with subtle but colorful stickers and the occasional plastic jewel. The singer then began to play the first and only song of the night from Patched Up, “If You Want To.” Strumming the simple but entrancing chords, beabadoobee captivated the audience one last time.
After this final song, beabadoobee thanked the crowd and quickly walked offstage, with no elaborate goodbyes or last words. The crowd members were left to reflect upon the experience by themselves, as the energy that had been generated faded to a light hum.
Highlights of the set: “She Plays Bass,” “I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus,” “If You Want To”
Contact Nathalie Grogan at [email protected].
The image accompanying this article previously depicted the concert’s main act, not beabadoobee.