I don’t mean to brag (yes I do, actually), but I was at the first ever Beths show in Philadelphia. It was at Ortlieb’s in 2018, and like I mentioned in an Instagram caption, there were only about twenty-something people there. The other thing I mentioned in that caption was that the band was going to “get huge.”

I’m happy to report that after nearly four years of touring, two brilliant studio albums, one live album and one pandemic, The Beths have officially become a big deal, at least in the realm of indie pop/rock. It’s not hard to see why. The band’s enthusiastic enthusiasm for combining Ramones-y power chords with Beach Boys-esque vocal harmonization has torn the fabric of the rock and roll spacetime continuum. A new paradigm has been discovered and Liz Stokes is its Einstein. 

The Beths | photo by Skylar Watkins for WXPN

That new paradigm was onstage at Underground Arts last night and was witnessed by a sea of moshing young adults with some old heads scattered about. “Not Getting Excited” kicked off the set, “Future Me Hates Me” ended it, and in between was a setlist of boppers, bangers, hooters and hollerers. There was also a super cute moment where each member of the band introduced another member in a circular pattern. After leaving the stage, the band came back for a two song encore, consisting of “River Run: Lvl 1” and “Dying to Believe.”

While playing those very songs, The Beths sounded tight and well-rehearsed, just like any regular musical touring outfit. But what’s impressive is the acrobatic vocal synchronization possessed by all four parts of the band – lead guitarist Jonathan Pearce, drummer Tristan Deck, bassist Ben Sinclair and Stokes – each of which had a microphone. Rock and roll ain’t about being perfect, so you learn to forgive the typical sharp and flat notes any normal singer will eek out a few times every show. With the Beths, however, no such forgiveness is necessary because the mistakes simply aren’t made. It’s a feat made even more impressive by the fact each member is playing an instrument while singing. 

The Beths | photo by Skylar Watkins for WXPN

But what’s most impressive is The Beths ability to keep churning out great indie pop tunes without slowing down. As the band sells out bigger and bigger venues (last night’s show was, indeed, sold out), the shows get even more fun, which is probably where the key to The Beths’ success lies. Each band member makes it abundantly apparent not just how much they enjoy being onstage with each other, but also interacting with the audiences that come to their shows. Looks like those days of playing in front of twenty-something people paid off.

Check out scenes from the show — including opener Lunar Vacation — captured by photographer Skylar Watkins in the gallery below.