Camp Out at the Beach Pit BBQ

Camp Out at the Beach Pit BBQ

Camp Out

June 25, 2010
Beach Pit BBQ

This will teach me to make assumptions. Though they're alumni of the ultra-selective UC Berkeley, the NorCal indie-pop duo Camp Out play music that is unexpectedly modest. Formed in 2007, the band is comprised of singer/guitarist Maddy Hanks, and keyboardist/singer/percussionist Jackie Law.
Camp Out at the Beach Pit BBQ

Featuring the sonic optimism and pop sensibilities of Kim Deal's post-Pixies project the Breeders, Camp Out has embarked on a musical project infused with various drum loops and synthesizers.  Currently the twosome are wandering around the West Coast in support of their 2010 debut release Closer. They appeared Friday night at an all-ages show at Tustin's Beach Pit and BBQ. The 40-minute set illustrated the point that just because a band has the resources to record a good record doesn't mean they can play well.

If you give Closer a spin, one song in particular stands out: The uber catchy "Car Crash." With it's anthemic hook and impassioned lyrics sung in rounds, this one is a winner. The band played it toward the end of their set, but sadly, in a live setting, singer Hanks has a meek voice that is all throat and no diaphragm. Sounding like a nervous teenager, Hanks' vocals were  accompanied by her revving electric guitar, which might as well have been played through a drive-through speaker box. The show's one saving grace was drummer Jackie Law's multi-tasking stage-craft. The ambidextrous percussionist would deftly switch between only drumming to drumming with one hand while simultaneously playing keyboard or operating her laptop. The rest of the set isn't worth discussing.

Camp Out at the Beach Pit BBQ

The crowd: A few tables of college-age hipsters who would occasionally shimmy to the music or mouth the words. The venue was primarily filled with dining families.

Overheard: "Can I get a pulled pork sandwich?"

Personal Bias: I'm a sucker for a good live act. These girls have the potential to be one. They just need to develop their performance their skills bring the show up to speed with to their other resources.

Set List: 
1. Make Myself Sick
2. Does it Hurt?
3. Closer
4. Separately
5. Flying Back
6. My Arms
7. Car Crash
8. Bones


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