Gracious. Enthusiastic. Humble. Joyful. Kind. Given the lo-fi “bratty b” surf-pop doo-wop swagger dripping off Best Coast’s studio albums, you’d be forgiven for not betting their live show, on the East Coast no less, would be so magnanimous. But that’d be a losing bet, as the confident yet endearingly accessible Bethany Cosentino, Bobb Bruno and Co. proved on Saturday night to be all these ways and more. And by more, we mean ambassadors of rocking out most heart-achingly hard. Dreamily hard. California hard. So hard, in fact, that this first sold-out date of their tour left a full-scale love fest, complete with hardcore making out, in its wake.
Opening the show was Nashville’s dual-femme-fronted Those Darlins, here to bring D.C. some serious surf-punk ruckus. Reminiscent of a marriage between our soon-to-be-seen headliners and The Ramones (whose tracks aired over the PA between sets), Those Darlins’ sequin-spangled fuzzy twang also ran the gamut from garage to sock hop and set the tone perfectly for the main event.