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Beacon

Mississippi Studios, Portland, OR
27 February 2016
By: Meghan Kearney


Upon the release of their second full length LP, Brooklyn duo, Beacon hit the road finally making a stop in Portland, OR for the first time in 4 years. Accompanied by Portland’s own solo female producer, the lovely Natasha Kmeto opened the show drawing quite the crowd of locals.

Beacon’s large white tarp draped the stage, covering house lighting, and leaving the room in darkness for Natasha’s set. But promising floor-to-ceiling visuals, that based on their string of video snippets from the new record Escapements, were anticipated to entrance.

IMG_5479They opened their set with the first single from Escapements – “IM U,” a perfect eery, dark opener to calm the drunk, talkative crowd of Saturday night bar crawlers. Vocalist Thomas Mullarney’s soft voice floated around the room through the dark as deep bass heavy synth danced with the geometric shapes spinning behind the duo.

They continued with more down tempo tracks leaving most of the crowd in a dreamlike trance while women in heals and mini-skirts (who clearly had no idea who was performing) considered putting down their lemon drops for a look. Title track “Escapements,” led into “Drive” from their first album “The Ways We Separate” with vocals so soft and blended that they were nearly untranslatable – another soft instrument to play aside Jacob Gossett’s live production of beautiful beats.

Behind them, entrancing swirls of black and white geometrics provided a vibe of floating in space.

IMG_5521Around the half way point of the set they began to pick up speed, slowly building up through faster, heavier electronic tracks. “L1” from their 2014 EP and Escapements provided the first hints. Sets of bright purple, pulsating lights lit up behind the duo and Gossett bounced between equipment and drum pads to the beats as they gained pace.

Next came hidden gem, “Fault Lines,” a track that blends synths, ethereal vocals and a beautiful, echoed droplet-like keys.  By the end of the song, the entire room had finally given up on conversation, to dance. “Backbone,” with its house-like vibe taking the classy venue into an LED blinking warehouse rave. The final moments of the set showcased a wrenching drop that induced a really bro-y “wooaaahhhhh” from the upstairs balcony. And the crowd loved it.

Though the Brooklyn duo is on the last leg of their tour, you can grab copy of their new record Escapementsand check out the first track “IM U” below.