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If you’ve watched Real Estate’s video for their song “Darling,” then you’re acquainted with their unique stoicism. The video is for the lead and most popular single off their latest album In Mind, an album again filled with interlocking stratocaster sounds and poetic lyrics the band has made themselves known for. Led by hipster-glasses bearing Martin Courtney, these east coast boys are in many ways the picture-perfect example of an American indie band--tall and thin, plain-faced, and hazy eyed.

And, if you’ve watched Real Estate’s video for their song “Darling,” you know exactly how they perform live on stage (minus the horse, of course). The band stands in a fairly typical “u” formation, with Courtney center stage. Each of the members asynchronously bob their heads and step forwards and back as the pace of the music hastens. Rainbow beams of light stretch from the floor of the stage over the band horizontally, casting an almost heavenly glow. And, despite their stoic performance, between songs the band members eventually break character, making excessive note of the fact that this is their first show in Oakland after years of tour dates spent in neighboring San Francisco.

Additionally, they sounded exactly as they do on record--perfectly timed, calm, and passively satisfying in their chiming chord progressions and fuzzy synths. Courtney’s voice sounds clear and consistent, backed by tittering drums that are nearly hypnotizing. The banter between guitarists and drummers is also endearing, gathering laughs from the crowd as they hypothesize different made-up connections to the bay area. Especially endearing was when bass and guitar player Alex Bleeker endearingly complained about his nerves upon moving to the bay area--a comment that evoked lots of laughs from the crowd.

While at times boring, Real Estate’s performance at the Fox was also soothing. Their music washed over the crowd smoothly and easily, and after the show everyone appeared pleased and refreshed. They were everything I expected, but that isn’t bad--if you were expecting more than a chilled-out pleasant show, Real Estate is the wrong show to attend. -Veronica Irwin

Photo via Real Estate Band


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