Best Coast and Green Day at Liacouras Center April 3

Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino, Bobb Bruno, opening for Green Day. "Both of us have light and dark, merry and melancholy sides," says Bruno.
Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino, Bobb Bruno, opening for Green Day. "Both of us have light and dark, merry and melancholy sides," says Bruno. (DAVID BLACK)
Posted: March 29, 2013

This might not be a popular sentiment, but I'll take Best Coast over Green Day any day, even though, at the Liacouras Center on Wednesday, it's Billie Joe Armstrong's Berkeley-based punks who will headline and Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno's sun-soaked garage pop that will open the bill.

"I can't compare myself to Billie Joe," says Best Coast's singer-songwriter Cosentino via e-mail. "I'm not even on that level. One of the first songs I learned on guitar was 'Time of Your Life.' Green Day was influential to me as a teenager, and later on, as a writer."

Audiences at the Liacouras will get all sides of the California garage continuum. It's a bargain: 360 degrees of Cali cool.

"Both of us have light and dark, merry and melancholy sides to our music," says Bruno, Best Coast's guitarist, on the phone from Los Angeles.

Best Coast has two full-lengths, 2010's spare and chipper Crazy for You and 2012's ruminative, lush follow-up, The Only Place. The more recent album seems to come from a place of yearning, a need for home, for people known, a time passed, opportunities obscured. A sweet melancholy floats above Best Coast's loneliest moments - a complexity of feeling that Armstrong only hints at in his writing.

For Cosentino, creating The Only Place was an autobiographical process.

"It's kind of cool, because it's like I've written these totally public diary entries that I can turn around and look back on," she writes. "I think that writing such personal songs like I do really helps me grow and get over stuff."

She points to "Up All Night" as The Only Place's most emotional song. "I would seriously stay up all night and just drive myself crazy thinking about that person the song was about, and about what it would be like if we could be together."

Bruno laughs about how so much of Place's sadness stems from the fact that Best Coast stayed on the road nonstop after Crazy for You's success.

"Being on tour for two years without breaks made us miss a lot of things," he says. "We're wildly happy to be able to make a living doing this, but we were not prepared to have to leave our lives behind for so long. I mean, we started off recording songs in my bedroom for that first album. We didn't even plan beyond our first show."

Maybe they should be less successful next time out. Their next recording, an EP, is due shortly, and it sounds as though, in Cosentino's words, "those two records had a baby; not too produced, and not too DIY." Bruno says it has country songs, big rockers, sunnier West Coast moments, and downbeat tracks: "I like the slower songs because I can find new atmospheres to toy with, but I truly love to rock out fast and hard."


Green Day, with Best Coast, play 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Liacouras Center at Temple University, 1776 N. Broad St. Tickets: $39.75, $59.75, $65. Tickets from the postponed Jan. 22 show will be honored. Information: 1-800-298-4200, www.comcastTIX.com.

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