The Beaches make waves at Elements Nightclub
This past Wednesday I was fortunate enough to see the magic that is The Beaches at Elements Nightclub in Kitchener. To say this show was a wild, magical and powerful concert would be an understatement. The band’s four women ooze chemistry, confidence and female empowerment.
The show kicked off with a bang — Toronto groups Fade Awaays and Goodbye Honolulu opened the show with powerful and energetic performances. Last Wednesday, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit down with Fade Awaays alongside Radio Laurier’s Music Director, Lucas Gielekas.
These four guys were so genuine during our conversation, and their vulnerability in the discussion of the way they create their art was honest and reflects so well in their music. I highly recommend listening to their 2019 album Taste of Life — the song “She Don’t Know Why” has been added to many of my recent playlists.
As many of you know, opening acts often face alarmingly low audience rates, however, this was not the case during the Fade Awaays performance.
During their opening set, the crowd was engaged and loved every second of it. The group’s energy and passion connected with everyone in the audience and the crowd was humming along with them throughout their performance.
The positive energy was radiating through the crowd from the Fade Awaays by the time Goodbye Honolulu came on. Another group out of the independent rock scene of Toronto, Goodbye Honolulu brought an ‘80s rock vibe mixed with contemporary indie to the stage.
Clad in oversized suits, their performances had people jumping to the beat and also had the crowd mesmerized, especially during “Typical”, another song I would seriously consider adding to your chill-out playlist.
By the time both opening bands completed their acts, the crowd was howling for The Beaches to take the stage. When they walked on stage the audience could not be silenced. Dressed in hip and unique outfits, these women jumped on stage ready to rock.
From the minute they opened with their 2018 single Fascination, the crowd was following along with every chord, lyric and dance move that the band performed.
The band moved through energetic performances of songs off their latest EP The Professional, alongside tracks from their 2017 album Late Show, amongst other singles they have released over the years.
The use of lighting in the show is also worth noting. Kudos to the band for meticulously planning the lighting and also to the technician who executed their plan. I have to give credit to Sean Hackl of the Fade Awaays for mentioning the lighting in The Beaches’ shows during my interview with the band. If it weren’t for him I would not have looked at it as meticulously as I did during the show.
The lighting perfectly matched each song that the band performed. The performance of the heart-wrenching tune Highway 6 was framed by the low-key lighting and calmed the crowd for a rare moment of peace during the show.
However, within minutes, the mood changed when strobe lights supported an ecstatic performance of “Want What You Got.” Lighting definitely plays a critical role in this band’s performance style.
For myself, one of the best moments of this show was the band’s cover of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head.” It’s always a risky move for bands to perform covers of songs, but if they can do it well, it’s a strong signifier of the group’s talent and ability to put their own spin on previous hits.
All eyes were on guitarist Kylie Minner as she sang a whimsical rendition of Minogue’s 2001 tune. Even if you weren’t entirely familiar with the work of The Beaches, this song had the whole crowd engaged and singing along.
One of the best things about watching this band perform live was the way they all share the space with one another on stage. Of course, lead singer Jordan Miller fronts the band for the majority of songs, but the spotlight is never solely on her.
The way that they shares the space on stage is democratic and natural. Fun, coordinated, yet on-the-spot dance routines took place between the group throughout the show, that really proved the point that you were watching four best friends perform together on stage. It made the audience vulnerable knowing that they were watching four women on stage who had such a strong love and trust for each other.
I was a little nervous about going to the show, personally. At the time, I had only really known their song “T-Shirt,” and was going as a way to have a fun roommate outing, without knowing a whole lot about The Beaches and their music.
I am eternally grateful that I went to this concert, not only because it was such a fantastic show, but because seeing The Beaches perform showed me what amazing things women are accomplishing in the modern rock scene.
At a time where the music landscape is dominated by pop and hip-hop, we seem to be missing a key genre: rock. While we typically think of rock as a tight pants, slicked-back hair, male-dominated industry, The Beaches are appearing at a critical moment where rock has the opportunity to redefine itself as a space equally as open to women as it has historically been to men.
Through their strong, female-centric lyrics, tight music and dominant stage presence, these women tear down the gender norms of rock. The Beaches prove to be the perfect group who can merge the two separate entities of feminism and rock into a harmonious union in Canada’s contemporary music landscape.