Last Wednesday night, I had the opportunity to see Philadelphia band Beach Slang live at the Oxford Art Factory in Sydney. Middle of the week, situated in some bar venue I hadn’t been before, it’s crazy to think how one band can give you so much hope that rock n’ roll still exists. From seeing the high-energy performance from the band, to the banter showcased on the stage, Beach Slang were there to play the tunes that got them to Australia in the first place – regardless of the fact that they had to sit through hours of travel and unfortunately go through the experience of jetlag (sorry, dudes). It was impossible to take your eyes away from the magic the band delivered that night.
Before getting to the gig, I finally got to meet the girl my best friend was seeing. He’d been studying in Victoria for half the year and had gotten out of a previous bad relationship. Ended in heartbreak – you know how it goes. Initially worried, I was surprised (and relieved) to have met a gorgeous woman with mermaid-like hair. She had something warm and encouraging about her; something I didn’t find in the previous women he had relationships with in the past. It makes me to think about Beach Slang’s debut album The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us. How we crave for intimacy, to feel like we belong with somebody and to just experience love. We take all these necessary risks, bring down all our walls to be vulnerable to another person and to be honest with you, that shit still kinda freaks me out. The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us.
“This year, there were many disheartening moments where I felt like giving up but seeing Beach Slang live felt like I made it.”
Hurriedly taking an Uber to the venue and still being a newbie to the service, I loved the fact that I was able to talk to my driver, removing that awkward silence I normally had when taking taxis. Had a friendly guy in his 40s drive me to the venue and I asked him to tell me stories on the most interesting customers he had taken home. He spoke about a couple, both eighteen, living in different suburbs where the girl he was dropping home wanted advice on the guy he was seeing. Lost about what she wanted and seeking a father figure for guidance, it was amazing to hear how trusting she was on her Uber driver’s advice on love; to have someone she barely knew lead her into the right direction. “Too Late To Die Young” echoed in my brain as I got out of the car. The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us.
Arrived at the venue with an Aussie local band playing bangin’ tunes. Felt bad that I missed out on some of their set. Crossed off the VIP list. Felt good. +1? No. Sad face. Started messaging my best friend and shared my opinions on the lovely lady he was seeing. Found out he finished dinner early. Wide-grinned face. SEND TEXT IN CAPS TO COME TO VENUE. “I’m on my way”. Perfect. It was nice to know I had company. Thank god for best friends right? And Uber, of course. The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us.
As Beach Slang came on, I felt like I was going to cry – happy tears of course. One hour of seeing them live gave me hope in everything – not just in punk rock – but in what I was yet to achieve. This year, there were many disheartening moments where I felt like giving up but seeing Beach Slang live felt like I made it. Whether it was seeing James Alex and his ruffled hair, singing rad tunes like “Throwaways” and “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas”, meeting one of the most amazing publicists in the music industry and hugging her like crazy and spending more hours with my best friend before he had to leave for Victoria again – it was those moments where I felt alive. The togetherness that was held in the room as Beach Slang took the stage.
My Wednesday night was busy but it was beautiful. Up until the moments of the show, I was thinking about their songs and how relevant some of them were when it came to those encounters. It’s strange how life makes you think about stuff. It’s strange how music makes you think about stuff. To have a row of epiphanies while also having a self-reflection period during a band’s set. Well, that’s a first. I’m just thankful to have witnessed it all, and I have Beach Slang to thank for instilling that fire inside of me I thought I put out ages ago.