The Beths Plan to Play D.C. at Last
March 3, 2023 @ 12:00pm
Before beloved New Zealand band The Beths plays a sold-out 9:30 Club, read about the trials and tribulations of touring through a snowy West Coast.
After The Beths’ current U.S. headlining tour was delayed twice due to the pandemic, the New Zealand band encountered another unexpected natural issue upon their arrival: the winter storm that walloped a good portion of the country last week, forcing the band to cancel their show at First Avenue in Minneapolis.
“We played in Seattle and then we had three days to get to Minneapolis, which was the next show,” lead singer Elizabeth Stokes tells District Fray. “On the day before we were supposed to drive, it was just clear that that show was not going to happen cause it was right in the eye of the storm. So we ended up spending a few nights in beautiful Bismarck, North Dakota, sleeping in the bus. We got to know that area pretty well.”
Thankfully, weather delays will not prevent The Beths from playing their sold out show at the 9:30 Club on March 4. The Auckland quartet are touring behind their third album, “Expert in a Dying Field” (available now in physical formats including colored vinyl and cassette), an across the board power pop-punk outing that returns to the energy of their debut album “Future Me Hates Me” while delving into the most go-to lyrical subject matter in music: love and break-ups and dealing with the two.
Not that one should expect a morose outing from the band. If anything, lyrics on songs such as “Knees Deep” where Stokes sings “The shame/I wish I was brave enough to dive in/But I never had been and never will be/I’m coming in hot then freezing completely” over a bright melody showcases their ability to make a heartbreaking subject matter far less painful musically. Also, for anyone who has seen the music video, the band is literally able to dive in as each member takes a turn bungee jumping off the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Doing this turned out to be something the band did on a whim after the music video director came down with COVID-19 right before their scheduled shoot.
“We were without a video and, very short notice, had to pull something together,” says Stokes. “I had a list of ideas for music videos for the song and one of them was, ‘Let’s go bungee jumping.’ And it was like, well, this seems like the one that we could pull together the quickest. We booked the slot and then I was like, ‘Oh, we’re actually gonna have to do this now.’ The song is about being brave.”
When it came to the actual moment of truth, Stokes had to deal with mind over matter.
“I wasn’t prepared for exactly how scared I would be,” recalls Stokes. “Your body just gets really scared because your brain is like, ‘It’s safe, I think.’ But your body’s just like, ‘Absolutely not. We’re gonna die.’”
The Beths play 9:30 Club on March 4. Doors 7 p.m. SOLD OUT.
9:30 Club: 815 V St. NW, DC; 930.com // @930club