Arts & Entertainment, Features, Reviews

REVIEW: beabadoobee brings dreamy grunge to Roadrunner

Beabadoobee brought energy and love to Roadrunner Sunday night, with a satisfyingly long set list that traversed through her numerous releases since 2017.

I walked into a packed venue running a little late because Roadrunner was simply difficult to find from public transportation and through a construction zone. I walked in, and Lowertown, a duo also signed to beabadoobee’s label Dirty Hit, was leaning into a screaming, rock vibe. The crowd moshed for the band’s last stop on tour, but seconds into the final song, the singer Olivia O. called out to someone in the crowd.

The music abruptly stopped, and the crowd parted to make room for a wheelchair and EMTs after a fan was injured. The opener ended a song early.

Beabadoobee performing at the Roadrunner on Sunday. She performed to a sold-out show of 3,500 people. MOLLY FARRAR/DFP STAFF

After Roadrunner staff handed out free waters for audience members, the crowd was ready for beabadoobee, who came on stage quite promptly around 8:40.

She began a steady flow of her style of catchy, dream-pop rock. “10:36” opened her “Beatopia” album tour. She then traveled to her 2019 “Loveworm” for “Apple Cider,” and then to her 2020 album “Fake It Flowers” for “Care.” She gave the audience her less popular hits to start, but it was a great taste of her progressions, which would continue throughout the rest of the show.

Then, she continued with “Fake It Flowers,” playing crowd favorites “Worth It,” “Together” and “Charlie Brown” after album closer “Yoshimi, Forest, Magdalene.” They fit together seamlessly, all from the same beabadoobee era of 90s grunge rock, but romantically tragic, angsty lyrics.

The music continued as she took a moment to address the sold-out show of 3,500 people. She asked for house lights to see our faces but kept it short and sweet, saying she loved us and that Roadrunner Boston is a bigger venue than she’s played in the past.

Boston was the last stop for both beabadoobee and Lowertown together, but beabadoobee will continue with a tour in March. She will start in Europe and then open for ever-loved Taylor Swift around the United States.

“Going on tour with (Taylor Swift),” she tweeted last month. “holy sh— a dream come true.” Since the announcement, beabadoobee will be supporting Swift on an additional four tour stops. The 22-year-old also just performed her first Tiny Desk Concert for NPR.

After the run of “Fake It Flowers” songs, beabadoobee turned back to “Beatopia,” which was released in July. She played “the perfect pair,” a sweet, grungy, dreamy return to the touring album, and then “Sunny day,” a cutesy, feel-good vibe.

After 2020’s “Sorry,” beabadoobee said how much she loved her fans before counting us off to get dancing and bouncing to “She Plays Bass.” The venue was a crowd of bobbing heads as we obliged — jumping up and down to a song about a “chick who plays bass.”

I loved the culmination of her noisy pop and rock solos to this high energy moment. After the 2019 hit, she took it slower, and played her favorite song, she said, “See you Soon,” followed by “Don’t get the deal,” both on “Beatopia.”

The last four songs before the encore came from her “Our Extended Play,” “Fake It Flowers” and finally “Beatopia,” each extremely popular based on the screams from the crowd. She quickly took her exit off stage as soon as the last note rang out. Cheers for an encore were immediate.

Beabadoobee came out with an acoustic guitar, and I was so excited for a different type of encore. She played “Coffee,” her first release, and everyone definitely knew just the first couple lines of this viral hit. Her band joined her for another acoustic performance of her new song “Ripples.”

“Experiencing all of these people knowing me. It’s so strange,” beabadoobee said on stage, smiling with her acoustic guitar. “I can see how much my music means to you. I really love you guys, like honestly. I respect that you respect me too.”

The show ended loud and noisy and dreamy, just like her. Her track “fairy song” completed the show as a head-banging and atmospheric outro while throwing cute stuffed plush animals off stage into the shrieking crowd.

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