Band member Ian Farmer plays bass guitar in blue light, as photographed on Nov. 11, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Payton Ohler)
Band member Ian Farmer plays bass guitar in blue light, as photographed on Nov. 11, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Payton Ohler)
Payton Ohler

IN PHOTOS: Slaughter Beach, Dog had me ‘Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling’ all in one night

The Basement East was music-filled and emotion-packed at indie-rock band Slaughter Beach, Dog’s concert on Nov. 11.

Slaughter Beach, Dog brought their emotive indie rock sounds to Nashville at Basement East on Saturday Nov. 11. The Pennsylvania natives released their newest album, “Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling,” on Sept. 22 and their show had me doing all of these throughout the night. The album and tour title was no lie: Slaughter Beach, Dog, brought me through a sundry of emotions in one night.

Percussionist Zack Robbins screams into the mic, as photographed on Nov. 11, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Payton Ohler) (Payton Ohler)

The openers, Erin Rae and Bonny Doon, played two distinct genres, indie folk and rock, yet they complimented each other perfectly. Rae, a Nashville native, was sweet and charming and created an especially memorable moment when she brought her dad onstage for her last song in honor of his 70th birthday. They closed out Rae’s set by covering “I Miss the Mississippi and You.” Detroit-based duo Bonny Doon, touring alongside Slaughter Beach, Dog followed up Rae’s set. 

After a set change, the lights went low and Slaughter Beach, Dog members arranged themselves on stage. The band started with their newer songs detailing stories from bars or relationships. “Bobcat Club,” “Strange Weather” and “Float Away” nod to the eccentricities of life. After a few fresher hits, lead singer Jake Ewald welcomed the crowd into what would be one of many emotional transitions.

“We are going to do a couple old ones if that’s alright,” Ewald said.

Lead singer Jake Ewald in black and white, as photographed Nov. 11, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Payton Ohler) (Payton Ohler)

The older music encompassed both longing and reminiscence, two very prevalent emotions to me as a first year in college. The rest of the crowd swayed back and forth while I was transported into my childhood during “Green and Gold” and its lyrical reference to “Garden Song” by John Denver — it brought me much comfort as my mom used to sing for me growing up. But, in no time, the crowd was filled with vibrancy again.

“You guys are real riled up tonight,” Ewald said. 

Slaughter Beach, Dog in red and purple lighting, as photographed on Nov. 11, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Payton Ohler) (Payton Ohler)

The energy was highest during “My Sister in Jesus Christ,” a song Ewald wrote about going to church with his twin sister. The song maintains a steady beat through drums and keyboard but features an epic guitar riff mid-song, keeping listeners on their toes with unpredictable rhythm gaps. Along with a few more engaging songs speaking to the comfortable — and uncomfortable — emotions of young adults, the band performed their most popular song “Acolyte.” Slaughter Beach, Dog powerfully ended with an extended version of “104 Degrees” and walked off stage.

After a dramatic pause and amidst an audience full of fans chanting “encore,” the band returned to round out a night of sweetness and jamming with three more songs. 

The plethora of feelings expressed in Slaughter Beach, Dog’s set encapsulated the experience of adolescence. Whether it’s missing the simplicities of family dinner or overthinking a text message, Slaughter Beach, Dog has a song that uniquely embraces those feelings and serves as a reminder to hang in there.

Leave a comment
About the Contributor
Payton Ohler
Payton Ohler, Staff Photographer
Payton Ohler (‘27) is majoring in civil engineering in the College of Engineering. Beyond academics, she is involved in SPEAR, Gen Action and Run Club, and loves coffee. She can be reached at [email protected].
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
All The Vanderbilt Hustler picks Reader picks Sort: Newest
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments