The BETHS – ” Auckland, New Zealand, 2020 “

Posted: August 10, 2021 in MUSIC

Since arriving with their sizzling, power-pop-infused brand of rock music in the mid-2010s, New Zealander group The Beths have been harnessing the raw energy of their music for compelling and electric live performances. On the three-year anniversary of the release of their debut album “Future Me Hates Me” and following their second album 2020’s “Jump Rope Gazers”, the band have announced a new live album and an accompanying film titled “Auckland, New Zealand, 2020”, out September 17th on Carpark Records.

The anticipation is there in Elizabeth Stokes’ solo guitar riff under the opening lines of “I’m Not Getting Excited”: a frenetic, driving force daring a packed Auckland Town Hall to do exactly the opposite of what the track title suggests.

As the opener of The Beths’ “Auckland, New Zealand, 2020” expands to include the full band, the crowd screeches and bellows. It’s a collective exhalation, in one of the few countries where live music is still possible.

The album title, and film of the same name, deliberately include the date and location, lead guitarist Jonathan Pearce says. “That’s the sensational part of what we actually did.” In a mid-pandemic world, playing to a heaving, enraptured home crowd feels miraculous.

In March 2020, everything seemed on track for another huge year for The Beths. Home after an 18-month northern hemisphere tour, they had just finished recording sophomore album Jump Rope Gazers and were primed for more extensive touring. But within days, New Zealand’s lockdown split the band between three separate houses. All touring was cancelled.

Recorded at the Auckland Town Hall, the show is notable for being one of the few any major rock band was able to perform mid-pandemic, due to the anti-COVID measures New Zealand adopted early on. As such, the group’s performance teems with life and the excitement to be gathered in a space with fans during such a dark period. Deliberately choosing the name of the album/film in reference to that fact, Jonathan Pearce comments, “That’s the sensational part of what we did,” and says playing to the sold-out hometown crowd “felt miraculous.” The idea for Auckland, New Zealand, 2020 came from the desire to share the good fortune they had playing shows with the rest of the music-less world.

Elizabeth Stokes
Jonathan Pearce
Benjamin Sinclair
Tristan Deck

Releases September 17th, 2021

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