At the risk of leading with a humblebrag, I was at the first ever Beths show in Philadelphia. It was June 13, 2018 — just last year — at Ortlieb’s. There were maybe 30 people at that show, and I instagrammed it.
“[T]he days of [The Beths] playing in front of 27 people in a small bar won’t last long,” I wrote in the caption. “These guys will get huge.”
Since then, the band went from playing in front of maybe 30 people at Ortlieb’s to selling out the First Unitarian Church last night. As much as I would love to boast about my apparent prescience, I know that every last indie soul patronizing Ortlieb’s that summer night thought the same thing. It’s like seeing Britney Spears live and watching her lip-sync: it’s glaringly obvious to anybody paying attention. At Ortlieb’s, the band was rocking. They were charismatic, compelling and sonically spectacular. But the energy wasn’t quite there. This was not the band’s fault. Unlike sheer musicianship, energy is a two-way street; a band and its audience must feed off each other to produce a truly great concert. Because Ortlieb’s was mostly empty that night, that box unfortunately went unchecked. Continue reading →