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What You Missed: The Beaches at Majestic

When lead woman, Jordan Miller, asks, "where are the gays," about one third of the audience hollers back, with some fans raising both their hands up. A moment later, Miller asks, "where are the straights," and a smaller, shyer handful respond.

Despite the sex-filled lyrics and the party-girl performances from the Canadian pop rock band, The Beaches, Majestic Theatre is filled with a strange mix: amongst the spattering of college girls, there's also middle-aged men sipping on IPAs, fraternity-type guys checking out the sea of women, and a few elementary kids hanging onto their parents shirts. Even with their niche aesthetic, the band's fuzzy pop choruses attract seemingly unlikely fans to the front row.

The Beaches consists of members Jordan Miller (vocals, bass), Kylie Miller (guitar), Leandra Earl (keyboard, guitar) and Eliza Enman McDaniel (drums). It's taken the band their fair share of time to get to a sold out Majestic--they formed back in 2011, switched around members, went on a few small tours and fine-tuned their sound for years. It wasn't until their debut album, Late Show, when they saw bigger successes like receiving the Breakthrough Group of the Year award at the Canadian Juno Awards in 2018. They even opened up for the Rolling Stones for one show in 2019. But, like everyone, the COVID-19 pandemic put them into rocky waters: their label dropped them and their entire team got reset.

Optimistically, the band saw this as a new jumping off point, asking themselves, 'what do we want?' This tumult inspired their most successful record ever, Blame My Ex, released last year. The lead single, "Blame Brett," showcases their new stride, going viral on TikTok (10M views and counting), gaining a massive audience and catching the eye of acts like The Aces and the Jonas Brothers who've brought them along on tour.

And with "Blame Brett" recently hitting top 40 radio, it seems the band is outgrowing some of the rooms they booked just months ago.

Majestic is stuffed, and I can only assume every single ticketholder is in attendance, given the filled balcony seats all the way to the back. There's even a pair of fans standing behind the last row of seats on a small landing that is definitely not meant to be stood on.

For this tour, the band plays mostly of off their new album. The energy is bouncy and cathartic, and with most of their songs sitting around the 2 or 3 minute mark, it's no surprise that the show moves quickly. In fact, there's not a single slow song on the setlist, and the closest thing we get to a break in pace is with songs like, "My Body ft Your Lips," which dawns drowsy verses that tell the tale of being inebriated and lust-filled. Throughout the night, we're reminded of the heartbroken Jordan, struggling with the back-and-forth feelings after a breakup. At one point, she takes a moment to explain how her and Brett Emmons's (the singer of The Glorious Sons and the famed ex behind, "Blame Brett") breakup formed the album we're hearing now, although rest assured, she's with someone named Ryan now, and he's so great that Leandra encourages us to chant his name in support.

Boyish, our opener for the night, also isn't afraid to shy away from name-dropping in their songs. Lead singer India Shore screams, "f-ck you Heather" from her core as she sings the song of the same name. It's the last song they play in their set, and it feels like all the tension they've been building throughout has finally found its breaking point. Claire Altendahl, the other half of the Boyish duo, shreds along side India as she comes down. The pair make up for the lack of slow songs from our main act: Boyish tout a dreamy sound with heavy words, reminiscent of sleepy bedroom pop that feels like we're reading out of India's journal.

For anyone familiar with The Beaches, it's no surprise that the Majestic is filled to the brim with women and femmes--the same group you might catch at a King Princess or Haim gig, aka lots of queer and gay women. As these communities continue to carve out larger spaces for themselves, queer bands are right along side that growth. Boygenius members rip their shirts off on stage, the MUNA trio grind on each other while performing and the members of The Beaches will share a kiss casually at the end of a song. And for an audience who rarely gets this kind of representation, they eat it all up. Under the band's TikToks, you'll find comments like, "Seeing Leandra playing for 0.5 seconds makes me finally understand all those girls that screamed and fainted for The Beatles and Elvis" or endearingly, "I CAME OUT TO MY MOM AFTER THIS SHOW."

You'll also find plenty of people commenting on how much they loved the show and crown it their favorite. I'd like to believe that we had a stand-out show, with the members commenting on how "we love playing the Midwest, because you're very similar to Canadians" or because Majestic's set up gave Leandra the opportunity to jump over her keyboard from the stage to the top of a 5-foot speaker. But the reality is that The Beaches play a clean, well-rehearsed show that gives enough room to lean into their best qualities. When Jordan wails on "Fascination," Kylie reacts with a big guitar moment, and Eliza thrashes her fire-red hair around in the background. Throughout songs, they'll switch mics, taking turns leading, and then they'll return back like a seamless choreography. Their setlist lets them dance between being cool and careless to being obsessive and vulnerable.

Finally we arrive at "Blame Brett," our almost-finale, which will bring us nearly to the end of a snappy one-hour-and-ten-minute set. The whole room shifts into complete catharsis and for a mere few minutes, we're able to blame all our messiness on our exes instead of taking the blame. It's a moment of pure recklessness, watching Leandra jump around stage while Jordan leans into her most toxic self. After our encore with the ever-obsessive, "Kismet," we leave breathless, flushed and craving more--the way any sneaky late night with an ex should.

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