The Beths played The Sinclair – 2/28

New Zealand indie pop darlings The Beths closed out February with a mini-residency at The Sinclair, joined by formerly-Bostonian singer/songwriter Sidney Gish.

Editor’s Note: It’s been a minute since we’ve had a contributor post here at Noise Floor, but no time like the present. While I photographed the first of last week’s doubleheader shows from The Beths for the house, Wendy Schiller was on hand for the shots and recap from night two. Check out their thoughts and gallery below. 

Sidney Gish and The Beths played a second, sold-out, night this week at The Sinclair on a rainy and frigid Tuesday. The crowd was eager for something to warm them up, and hometown hero Sidney did them right by opening her set with a cover from aughts indie rock band STRFKR. Revived from their initial freeze, the front row drank in Sidney’s bashful stage banter between songs. Her self-effacing lyrics and hypnotic guitar loops were as poignant as ever, with people singing along audibly to “Presumably Dead Arm’s” “tried to tell my Uber driver / till he tried to hit it.” There’s something to dissect from this popular class of indie artists about the generational pressure on social media to capitalize one’s interiority for clout, but that’s way too much of a rabbit hole for this writing. Until then, like Sidney, we can remain amused by how alien it is to be a body that feels emotions in the presence of a crowd.

Meanwhile, The Beths, with their newest comrade and stage dressing being none other than a giant inflatable trout, really leaned into the bit. I am always impressed when a band plays a live set as tightly as their recorded tracks, and this one did not disappoint. Maybe it was due to the fact that the bassist “wears socks with individual toes” to keep a good grip on the rocking beats. Whatever they are doing, it is working for them, how you say, swimmingly? We were putty in singer/guitarist Elizabeth Stokes’ hands as she asked us to name the giant fish.

The hooks on their new album are so good at blowing open the contrast between sad melody and rhythmic optimism; it cleanses your aura like a salt crystal and sets you up straight. By the end of the night of course everyone was singing along, climaxing appropriately with title track “Expert in a Dying Field” as the setlist finale. I am already excited to see them again with – Fishtopher? Sidney Fish? – when they hit Newport Folk in July.