03.20.23 – Photos by Emma Redinger / Review by McKenna Klaphake
Folks from all over Minnesota sold out First Avenue’s main room on Monday, March 20th when The Beths and Sidney Gish played their rescheduled show that got snowed out during one of the many record breaking snow storms we’ve had so far this year. The new date did little to quell the audience as lines grew outside the building until the start of the show.
Indie rock artist, Sidney Gish, began the night with a soothing vibe that let the audience settle gently into our environment. The singer-songwriter supported her enchanting vocals with an electric guitar and loop machine. I think it takes an incredibly talented artist to be able to do what Gish does. She created a wide array of sounds with just one instrument and little equipment. Whole songs were literally crafted before our eyes as she set up each track. The crowd echoed Gish’s crystalline voice during the song “Presumably Dead Arm.” Gish also performed many other fan favorites like “Sin Triangle” and “I Eat Salads Now.” Gish did an excellent job warming up the audience with groovy riffs and an outgoing stage presence.
Before seeing The Beths play, I knew one or two of their radio hits but had not listened to their full discography. After seeing them perform, I am a full blown fan! This unassuming indie rock band from New Zealand won me over with their genial attitude and the entertaining atmosphere that they created. The Beths brought extra liveliness to their recorded material and had the whole audience dancing and jumping along. The rock sound was so lively I kept expecting a mosh pit to break out, but one never formed. I think that really speaks to this band and their fans as they bring a feeling of peace and harmony to bubbly rock beats. The Beths have created something special that brought in fans from all backgrounds that night.
The Beths consist of guitarist Jonathan Pearce, drummer Tristan Deck, bassist Benjamin Sinclair, and lead singer Elizabeth Stokes. Their music is identifiable by their fast paced tracks with 80’s inspired back up vocals (like the Go-Go’s) and epic guitar solos. The band even joked that it isn’t possible for them to write a faster song and after seeing just how fast everyone played, I definitely believe that! The Beths know how to work a crowd and encouraged everyone to clap and sing along. All of the band members had a moment to chat with the audience where they impressed us with their witty personalities and sense of humor.
The band played a mix of songs from their three released albums, “Future Me Hates Me”, “Jump Rope Gazers”, and “Expert In A Dying Field.” I was particularly excited to hear them play, “Out of Sight” which proved to be just as good, if not better, live than the recorded version. The lights matched the mood of each song and helped build the story that each track created. The Beths had a practiced synchronicity that made all the pieces of this beautiful puzzle come together perfectly.
This is The Beth’s second time ending their tour in Minnesota and they certainly made an impact. The band finished with two encore performances including “You Are A Beam of Light” which was performed acoustically by Stokes and supported with vocals from the rest of the band. They rounded out their show with fan favorite, “Little Death”, which left the audience excited in anticipation for the next time this New Zealand band graces us with their presence.