13 Jul 2020
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The Beths - Gig Review: The Beths @ The Powerstation, Auckland - 11/07/2020

12 Jul 2020 // Review by Ben Ruegg

The Beths truly showcased why they are so beloved by so many people. The way Elizabeth Stokes and her band, made up of Jonathan Pearce, Benjamin Sinclair and Tristan Deck, commanded the stage so effortlessly was refreshing. In fact, the two-way communication that existed between the audience and the band was magical.

Opening with the first track off their latest album Jump Rope Gazers, the crowd immediately began to get right into. The opening guitars really set the show alight, as it does the album, and hit after hit, the band continued to deliver.

Sonically, I don't believe I have heard a band sound that good at The Powerstation before. Everything was perfectly mixed. The Beths sound is honest and brilliantly captured on their recordings that when you hear songs like Future Me Hates Me, or Dying To Believe live (just to name a few), you could almost imagine they were performed exactly like that and then cut into vinyl. The interactions between the band and the audience allow for more energy to come into their live sound, and yet, it's still all there in the recordings.

I was so happy to see the entire band having a good time with Ben and Tristan holding the rhythm section together ever so tightly while still moving around, smiling and having fun. Both Jonathan and Elizabeth showcased their guitar skills, with special mention to the two different timbres they had which worked perfectly together. The guitar solos were lively and performed with passion. It was all very contagious and the audience could feel the positivity. Even when Tristan started playing the wrong beat during the show, the band all had a laugh and the audience did too.

I had never seen The Beths perform live before, but I will absolutely be seeing them again soon. The group has a special chemistry with their fan base that is so humble and heart-warming which is really felt in their upbeat pop-rock music that reminded me of my youth with bands like Weezer and that whole indie/alternative sound. Each track was full of catchy melodies and sincere lyrics. All around me, people knew the words and were singing their hearts out. I couldn't help but feel happy and upbeat.

During the final song of the main set, Dying To Believe, they had Chloe Swarbrick up on stage promoting the Green Party, but more importantly, encouraging everyone to get out and vote. They even had a live rendition of the Orakei station soundbite performed live that appears in the track. After saying their goodbyes, they were quickly wooed back on stage for an encore with You Wouldn't Like Me before letting us return to the real world.

It was a truly fantastic show and one that proves just how much incredible NZ Music there is. It was nice to see The Beths paying it forward by allowing Phoebe Rings to be their opening act and yet it was only their second live show ever. Special mention goes to that group. They were brilliant and had a beautiful sound that was the perfect opening act for The Beths.

Bravo, The Beths. Well played! (Pun intended).

Photos courtesy of Nikita Weir / Antonia Pearl Photography

 

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