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The Beths at San Fran

 

There is something so electric about every night I have ever spent at San Fran. Last night I had the pleasure of going to see The Beths perform there.

 

It all starts the moment you climb those stairs and are inserted right into the middle of the bustling venue. It’s grunge but not grubby. It’s very cool and hip, but not in a patronising way. ‘Wearing Docs?’ one of the graffitis in the toilets asks. Many were, and those who didn’t, were sure to leave with the same sore, happy feet as the rest. I’ve spent many a night dancing on the wooden San Fran floors, each of them wonderful in their own way. It’s been a while since I’ve seen live music, and boy did it feel good to be back!

 

How I’d missed that social buzz of the balcony. Breathing in the fresh Wellington breeze, with definite notes of fruity vape and cigarette smoke. We sipped on our beers, and cheers’d to a great night. As we chatted we’d peer over to people watch the comings and goings of Cuba Street below. Cuba Street encapsulates much of what I love about this city, it feels so dynamic and colourful.

 

The four-piece set that is The Beths were simply awesome. I particularly loved their part awkward, part adoring chatter in between songs. “We’re going to hopefully continue playing music until the gig is over,” said lead vocalist Elizabeth Stokes, wearing some seriously iconic Canterbury shorts. They would all slip right back into their comfort zones with the start of each song they played.

 

I quickly realised how few of the words I actually knew, but tried to recreate the guitar solos the best I could. Every now and then Stokes’ voice was swallowed by the significantly shabbier choir of the crowd. It was a nicely familiar sensation to be in a crowd. So close you could smell the cologne of the stranger next to you. So far from everything else, that time, text messages, the dishes you left in the sink fade from the focus of your mind. Each of us finding our own worship-like movement to the music. For some, it’s the bounce from side to side, perhaps a soft sway with arm in the air, or some more stagnant – completely absorbed by it all the same.

 

After the post-encore final yahoo, we went back the way we came, leaving San Fran behind us for another night. When I got home, my shirt reeked of IPA and I was very content with that. I put my head on my pillow, ears still ringing, but smiling to myself. What a fantastic night it had been.

 

By Kaitlyn Randal