Real Estate's Intimate Performance at the Music Box

 Photos by Molly Atkins

Photos by Molly Atkins

By Molly Atkins

On February 27th, 2018, indie rock band Real Estate played the Music Box with opener Bedouine. As a venue with three stories to view the band from, the Music Box is definitely a place to be, even on a Tuesday night. A regular Tuesday night was changed for me when New Jersey natives Real Estate lived up to the hazy warm melodies I play of theirs on my phone. The band, made up of singer Martin Courtney, guitarist Matthew Mondanile, bassist Alex Bleeker, and drummer Etienne Duguay, were very casual in their apparel. Jeans, cardigans, loosely buttoned shirts and sneakers made up the atmosphere, making you feel as if you were hanging out with long time friends jamming out in their garage. Bedouine, their opener, was surrounded in a soft and light aura as she wore a red long dress with witchy vibes. With her slow guitar and angelic voice, she performed with ease and care. Real Estate, on the other hand, is skilled in grabbing the audience’s attention with their gradual melodies that transform into psychedelic freestyles.


They opened up the night with “Saturday” a subtle introduction that was immediately recognized by the fans. As they progressed, they flowed through their set list with consistent beach grooves that had lots of drums and guitar. The band utilized primary colors in their lights to give their dark lyrics a happier tone. A crowd favorite was definitely “After The Moon”. On their set list as “Waltz”, it was definitely so. The room was dark and then instantly exposed to small, disco-ball like white lights. It felt spacey and romantic, as if we were on the moon. Heartbreak lingered in the bass lick, and that made the crowd sway slowly (and maybe that’s why they named it after a dance, as if they were waltzing). The band wasn’t always serious though, they asked the crowd how they felt and thanked them many times about making it out on a Tuesday night, even joking about which side of the audience was more interactive. “Darling” appeared out of nowhere making the crowd dance with it’s synth undercurrent and quick guitar loop.

As the night came to an end, the band joked about “not knowing if the crowd wanted an encore” after the audience was begging for more. Real Estate completed their set with a fan favorite, “Crime”, that holds the happiest sounds but the most melancholic and longing lyrics. The melody was just what the crowd needed to end the show: the final dance to a long but eventful party. The Real Estate show was unquestionably the most casual concert I’ve ever been to, and was a really nice getaway. The band was so appreciative of everyone that came, and it showed in how passionate they were about their performance. If you haven’t listened to them, check out their most recent album (2017) In Mind, and maybe even catch a show on their next tour for an unexpected surprise

Aztec Music Group

Aztec Music Group, San Diego, CA