Hot off of their performance this summer at Osheaga, the Beaches were back in town this past Friday at L’Astral with the same don’t give a fuck, punk rock attitude that they blitzkrieg’d us with at their festival performance. The Beaches were a condensed nugget of pure rock and roll; no preamble, no heartfelt banter, no promises of a new album, no patronizing the audience… this was the fucking Beaches; playing at ear piercing levels, with a straight forward ferocity that maybe only the Ramones could match.
Contrast this with the set by Goodbye Honolulu (Toronto, ON) who interestingly enough went to the same school as the members of the Beaches and went on to suggest that they themselves were responsible for the Beaches success. These guys brought the same level of don’t give a fuck, punk rock essence, only they were much more inclined to mess around with the audience, each other, and endear every one of us through self depreciation, transient dry humour and unbelievably catchy punk and roll. In front of the stalwart drumming of Max Bornstein, Jacob Switzer, Fox Martindale and Emmett S Webb shared vocal duties, guitars, bass, even jokes to the point where the roles in the band are completely blurred. It’s refreshing to see, fuck roles! We should all be a little more amalgamated.
Yet to release an actual full length, Goodbye Honolulu pasted us with songs from their latest EP More Honey. I implore you to check out “Typical” as well as “Lorry Can’t Love,” just beautiful blends of punk and alternative not so unlike the Pixies or even fellow Torontonians PUP. I’ve already hit the like button on their Facebook page and will wait patiently for their return, you should do the same.
As soon as the abrasive opening notes to “Back Of My Heart” filled the room you got the sense that this was going to be a no bullshit performance. The Beaches (Toronto, ON) were here to rock, take no prisoners and leave you with a slightly lesser degree of hearing capacity than that which you came in with. It was apparent that the biggest cheers were still reserved for their hit “T-Shirt,” pretty fucking rad to see a single in 2018 have that much longevity! Modern day classic? I certainly think so. Itty bitty titty committee!! They also have t-shirts for sale that say,“Titty!” See how I wrapped that with a nice pretty bow for ya?
Singer/guitarist Jordan Miller was on a mission to deliver each song with unbridled passion and relentless energy, no messing around, all business. Keyboardist/guitarist Leandra Earl was all leg kicks and slick grooves intent on keeping the party going; I loved the dynamic between those two on stage! The Beaches laid hard into tracks from Late Show, “Gold,” “Highway 6” before dropping their new single on us “Fascination.” Blondie anyone? Hardcore 80s pop punk vibes on that one.
The crowd seemed to pop the hardest during “Money” towards the end of the set. Infectiously catchy, it was the perfect time in the set for it, a climax of crowd members bouncing with care free exuberance in one of the calmest/friendliest mosh pits you could see. I also need to make special mention of the wild keyboard solo Earl dropped on us! How often do you get to hear a fucking keyboard solo!? Refreshing, inventive and entirely god damn cool.
For the encore The Beaches opted for a cover, always risky but in this case it worked out wonderfully, as their rendition of Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi” was pure fire! The Beaches can do no wrong. If they warmed our hearts at Osheaga, then they completely ripped them out of our chests and took them ransom Friday night at L’Astral!
Written by Lee Ferguson
Photography by Chris Carpenter
*edited by Danielle Kenedy