I unplugged this weekend. It was honestly a fluke. I had my computer with me when my boyfriend and I skipped town for the weekend but it never got touched. It was a strange feeling and it was the first time in literal years that I had gone more than one day without touching my computer. Although it was nice, Monday was a bit of a headache as I tried desperately to catch up and get back on track but, thankfully, I had a great show on Monday night to help me wind down after the crazy day.
I was instantly in love with opener Sidney Gish. Although her sound is definitely not my typical thing, I instantly fell in love with the raw emotion that came through every track from this twenty-six-year-old. There was just something so pure and innocent about her performance which was mirrored by the way her banter with the sold-out audience was a bit awkward at times. Sidney’s voice was super clear which made catching the words of her indie-pop-inspired tracks easy and made me fall in love even more. My favorite track that I heard was “I Eat Salads Now” which contained the line “We’re gonna go to a show, and then come home and probably die.” Sure, those words aren’t quite poetry or anything like that but I just really liked the honesty of this line and all of the lines of words throughout her set. The way she strung her words and thoughts together reminded me a bit of Kimya Dawson but, sonically, she had a much more polished sound that makes her the perfect soundtrack for the youth of today.
I was struck by the vocals of Sidney’s set throughout the majority of the forty-minute set but another thing that caught me during her set was the live looping. It takes balls to do live looping on stage– it takes even more balls to do it when you’re the only one on stage. I won’t get into the science of looping but, for those who don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s basically a way of creating multiple layers of sounds with just one instrument and layering them with the help of a pedalboard. Sidney did this throughout her set but I really liked the moment when she told the audience she needed about two minutes to set up a track so they could talk amongst themselves or look at their phones. Although a lot of people around me took advantage of the offer to talk, I found myself with my eyes glued to the stage as I watched Sidney literally create an entire track on stage. It was fascinating to me and, although it wasn’t my first time seeing something like this, something about the way Sidney did it just made it feel so organic and fun.
Monday night’s show was supposed to take place back in February but, due to a snowstorm, it got pushed back. The thing is, The Beths are from New Zealand so, as a booking agent, I understand the complications that surely came with rescheduling this show. Sidney had mentioned that this was a show they all flew to rather than drove to just due to the way it messed with the acts’ travel plans. That’s commitment. Honestly, shows get canceled all the time and it would have been so easy for The Beths to just apologize and say that they had to get back home and couldn’t make a reschedule happen but they did it and, as soon as they jumped into their set, it was clear why.
Every song that The Beths played on Monday night came with a deafening roar of applause from the audience. Although I didn’t quite get it, I loved the reciprocated love that was felt throughout the sold-out First Avenue main room throughout their set. Why did I say I didn’t quite get it? Well, it was because of the music. It’s not at all that it was bad and I loved their infectious indie-pop sound that, at times, bridged into different worlds like grunge and pop-punk but, overall, I felt like the music didn’t do it for me. Honestly, it reminded me of seeing Wet Leg. Solid band, and solid performance, just didn’t quite understand it but, all that being said, it didn’t stop me from getting lost in the excitement of those around me.
Much like Sidney’s set, there was something raw and honest about The Beths’ set that I did really appreciate. It didn’t come in the same form as Sidny’s but more came from the way the band was clearly loving every minute of what they were doing. The banter seemed light but that gave the band more time to power throughout their nearly twenty-song set which clearly connected with the audience in a way that words and banter just could not have. I really can not understate the connection this band seems to have with their devoted fans and the way that all they had to do was play one note and the audience would start shrieking with excitement over it.
The Beths didn’t have to reschedule their Minneapolis show but I and the hundreds of people that surrounded me on Monday night sure are glad they did. New Zealand is a far way away from Minneapolis and I get that but I truly hope it’s not long until we see The Beths stop into town again. If they do, get your tickets early. This is a band that is going to continue to grow and I think it won’t be long before we see them moving on past venues like First Avenue and heading to bigger spots.