- Emma Egan
SHOW RECAP + GALLERY: The Beths bring Expert in A Dying Field to Life in Boston, MA
Updated: Mar 15
To know The Beths is to love them.
Since catching the Auckland natives for the first time this past summer at Courtney Barnett’s touring Here and There Festival, I fell head first into their back catalog and even harder in love with their sound. Everything about the group hit home for me, and their newest album, Expert in a Dying Field, immediately leapt to the top of my “Favorites of 2022” list. In turn, I’ve recommended The Beths to anyone who would listen (and then some). From inundating my instagram stories with songs from their newest album, Expert in a Dying Field, to playing their entire catalog to my café coworkers. I feel like I’m building a mini army, though it seems I’m not alone.
Quickly carving their niche here stateside, The Beths truly feel unstoppable. With two sold out shows here in Boston, an almost entirely sold out tour, and plenty of US festival appearances this summer, I think it’s safe to say The Beths are only getting started. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s talk about The Beths’ Sinclair stop this past week here in Boston!
Opening for The Beths was singer-songwriter and Boston native, Sidney Gish. At age 25, Gish has already made quite the name for herself, with two full length albums out and hearty endorsements from the likes of Pitchfork, The Guardian, and NPR. She immediately won over the crowd with her vocal ability and witty lyrics, alongside looping guitar and synth tracks Gish layered at the start of each song. Gish’s set brought together some of her biggest tracks, including “Presumably Dead Arm”, “Filming School”, and “I Eat Salads Now”.
With the stage fully and properly warmed, The Beths took to the stage with their hit “Future Me Hates Me”, setting a high bar for the set to come.
Their live performance brought Expert in a Dying Field to life (and I don’t just mean the giant inflatable fish, lovingly called “Sidney Fish”, that decorated both the album’s cover and 1/4 of the Sinclair’s stage). From start to end, their performance was golden. Endearing and deceptively devastating lyrics punched forward alongside twinkling guitar and traditionally “indie” drum and bass to build an absolutely unforgettable live show. Though the set mainly focused on tracks from Expert, a few hits from Jump Rope Gazers and Future Me Hates Me snuck in there for good measure.
With an insane amount of touring under their belts, The Beths looked more than at home on the Sinclair’s stage. Between songs, the band found time to joke with one another and catch the crowd up to speed with their recent goings-ons, including a hearty promotion of their on-the-road blog, Breakfast and Travel Updates by bassist Benjamin Sinclair (a great read if you’d like to check it out!). Everything about The Beth’s performance felt genuine and stripped of pretense, as if the sold-out crowd had stumbled into one of their private rehearsals.
This isn’t to say the performance was entirely delicate, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that The Beths’ shred (just listen to tracks “Little Death”, “Silence is Golden”, or “I’m Not Getting Excited”). More than anything else, The Beths’ excel at finding comfort in the good, and pulling only the best out of the bad. A seemingly impossible balance to strike, but the group does so with ease. Their live shows feel like sitting under a sunbeam or a visit with an old friend; a retreat from reality to something a little softer and warmer.
If you get the chance to see The Beths on this tour, or any other, do it. I can say without a doubt you’d be in for a treat.
YOU CAN FIND THE BETHS AT:
YOU CAN FIND SIDNEY GISH AT: