The Beths Bring Indie Rock Brilliance to the Crowbar (w/ Pohgoh & Lunar Vacation) (06.21.23) (pics, setlist)

Auckland-based quartet The Beths have been steadily releasing some of the brightest and best pop indie-rock since 2014, with their latest album “Expert in a Dying Field” seeing the band taking their signature blend of guitar-driven riffs and splendid vocal harmonies to new heights. With their Fall dates opening for The National, Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service, the band brought their headlining Summer tour to Tampa’s Crowbar. 

Local support for the show came from Tampa natives Pohgoh, described as a band “Formed in 1994. Broke up in 1997. Back at it in 2016.” Singer-guitarist Susie Ulrey’s experience with Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.) required the musician to not only utilize a mobility scooter but to re-learn how to play guitar. With Matt Slate (guitar), Keith Ulrey (drums) and Brian Roberts (bass), the band played a set entirely comprised of new tracks from their latest record “du und ich.” The band’s bright, 90s indie rock sound evokes bands like Belly and Rainer Maria fits perfectly with the mood for the evening, with a powerful display of musicianship from the group.

Self-described as “pool rock”, Atlanta-based quintet Lunar Vacation’s brand of guitar-led indie-rock features some absolutely sharp songwriting with singer-guitarist Grace Repasky’s strident vocals featured front and center above the hazy guitars of Maggie Geeslin, the bouncy basslines of Ben Wulkan, Matteo DeLurgio pulling a triple shift on synths, vocals and the occasional percussive tapping on a cowbell, all backed by Connor Dowd’s expert drumming. On their latest record “Inside Every Fig is a Dead Wasp” the band’s sound pulls from the surf rock sounds of Best Coast, with the technical and songwriting polish of Beach Bunny.

The energy in the Crowbar was electric as The Beths dove into “Future Me Hates Me” from the 2018 record of the same name. A buzzy, upbeat track about the trepidations of falling in love, the track shows off what the group is truly known for. Singer-songwriter Liz Stokes’ clever wordplay is on full display with saccharine, catchy hooks that become instant earworms. Guitarist Jonathan Pearce who also produces all the band’s records is both an absolute shredder on the Les Paul but provides Stokes’ vocals with some spectacular counter-melody. Bassist Benjamin Sinclair proves to be an absolute genius on tracks like “Silence is Golden” where drummer Tristan Deck plays perfectly in synchronized frenzy. Sinclair has also been documenting the band’s tour experience on a site called with a beautifully in-depth recap of each stop on their trek as well as breakfast choices from across the world.

On their latest record “Expert in a Dying Field” it’s easy to see why the band is getting some of their biggest exposure opening for legacy indie rock bands. Absolutely tight guitar rock with some vocal harmonies and riffs to give The Beach Boys a run for their money with brilliant songwriting, I would not be surprised if a sold-out Crowbar is the smallest place the band will play again. 


Future Me Hates Me
Knees Deep
Out of Sight
Your Side
I Want to Listen
Best Left
Uptown Girl
Jump Rope Gazers
Watching the Credits
I Told You That I Was Afraid
When You Know You Know
I’m Not Getting Excited
Less Than Thou
Silence Is Golden
Expert in a Dying Field

You Are a Beam of Light
Little Death

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