The Beths’ latest album might be titled “Future Me Hates Me,” but the sold-out crowd at Lincoln Hall March 6 had a different opinion. The indie rock band from New Zealand joined Chicago natives Jupiter Styles and Minnesota’s The Bad Bad Hats at the venue.
The band members Elizabeth Stokes, Jonathan Pearce, Benjamin Sinclair and Ivan Luketina-Johnston are longtime friends and went to the University of Aukland as jazz majors, according to Carpark Records. Having dropped its debut extended play (EP) “Warm Blood” in 2016 featuring a 1960s tone, the band went on to drop its first full album “Future Me Hates Me” in 2018, continuing the same type of vocals and guitar riffs that first popularized them.
Jupiter Styles, Sean Neumann’s solo project, put on an impressive opening performance. The band started the relaxed atmosphere wearing hoodies and combat boots – its sound a mix of punk and indie rock.
The Bad Bad Hats – comprised of Kerry Alexander, Chris Hodge and Connor Davidson – put on a show of its own. Not only did its vibrating bass have the crowd lifting their drinks in salute to the music, but the witty banter accompanying each song had audience members looking at one another with bemused expressions. The Bad Bad Hats wasn’t just a band, but a comedic act.
Lead vocalist, Kerry Alexander, took the time to explain both the literal and metaphorical meaning behind each song by retelling personal stories.
For “Super America” Alexander described the times she would stop by the gas station convenience store, Super America, to collect junk food. For “Nothing Gets Me High” Alexander admitted to the audience she had never smoked weed before, so the song was both a literal confession of her inexperience in that realm and a metaphor for depression.
With rolled up mom jeans, whimsical cotton tees and stunning electric guitar riffs, The Beths created an atmosphere that was both comfortable and intense. The fog cloaked crowd was relaxed, silently bobbing their heads to the beat. While the crowd seemed more interested in preserving their drinks than dancing, audience members would frequently shout their support for the performers and cheer during the instrumental breaks.
The Beths even put on an encore performance, returning to the stage for a couple more songs after much urging from audience members. After ending the show with “Future Me Hates Me,” the song that gave the album its title, the crowd was still left wanting more.
The Beths can be streamed on Spotify and Apple Music.