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Live Review: Best Coast, Totally Mild

29 July 2015 | 1:54 pm | Taylor Yates

"Bethany Cosentino's vocal performance is terribly flat and somewhat reminiscent of Avril Lavigne."

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Melbourne's Totally Mild step on stage and chime out a few vintage-sounding guitar chords before lead singer Elizabeth Mitchell blows us all away with her just-the-right-amount-of-airy voice. "Sorry for my no shoes," she says. "I felt like a clip-clop horse so I took them off. Clip clop..." Needless to say a few of us are a little bit suss at this point and even more so when Mitchell says: "That song's about my love, she's sick, she's got a fever, but she's here. My love, sweet love..." before tripping over the mic lead and burping. Either way, Totally Mild's spacey surfy tones keep us going until Best Coast arrive.

The curtains are closed and there are some metal guitar riffs blaring over the speakers while a red light bounces around the room. The curtains open and all the lights point to the stage as the band strut out — it's so rock'n'roll it hurts and Best Coast start with The Only Place followed by Heaven Sent, but it's immediately apparent that lead singer Bethany Cosentino's vocal performance is terribly flat and somewhat reminiscent of Avril Lavigne. The guitars are on point though, so we accept that they might just be tired from playing Splendour In The Grass the night before and sing along to Fine Without You. Cosentino redeems herself slightly around the middle of their set during No One Like You, but plunges right back down during So Unaware and California Nights, her vocals just too whiny and gravely. "Was anyone here last year when we played this venue? When I sculled the Vodka Cruiser on stage? It was on YouTube, it got taken down. I was PISSED," she says, and on cue someone from the crowd hands her a Vodka Cruiser (planned? Probably...) and she promises to do it again before playing In My Eyes. Not too long after, a punter asks her about the American food chain, Olive Garden, so she pauses the set to list off what her favourite pasta dishes are from the restaurant before resuming to play Feeling Ok, Goodbye and Jealousy and encoring with Boyfriend, during which Cosentino tries to scull the drink but fails after one sip. They finish on this reverb-heavy outro that goes on for so long some people just leave and others are left standing around asking each other if the band are going to do a double encore. One thing's clear — maybe Best Coast should've had a bit more of a nap after Splendour.