Review: Beach Slang still together in fiery, funny Rickshaw Stop gig

SAN FRANCISCO — After an on-stage meltdown in Salt Lake City, Utah, last week, alternative and punk rockers Beach Slang came into Tuesday’s gig at Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco with some questions hanging in the air.

During last week’s Utah stop, singer James Alex announced the group’s disbandment and said they would offer refunds. A video clip shows him proclaiming, “We were Beach Slang” before guitarist Ruben Gallego slams his ax on stage and storms off.

“We thought we were The Kinks for a second,” joked Alex Tuesday in San Francisco.

Topping a lineup that also included Massachusetts’ Potty Mouth, Washington’s Dyke Drama and the Bay Area’s own California — a side project of Green Day’s Jason White — Alex fired quips almost as rapidly as Beach Slang delivered its combustible brew of alternative and punk rock songs.

The Utah incident crept into many areas of Tuesday’s show. The band members appeared to have reconciled, giving Alex fodder for his humorous banter.

“We’ve broken up, got back together, booked the reunion tour and we’re still a bunch of fuck-ups,” Alex said after a false start on “Hard Luck Kid.”

When Alex lost his guitar pick on a cover of Jawbreaker’s “Boxcar,” bassist Ed McNulty pushed his pick into Alex’s hand. Earlier, McNulty and Alex hugged on stage before The Replacements’ “Bastards of Young.”

While Beach Slang’s set drew heavily on last year’s debut LP, The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us, the encore served multiple covers, including “Boxcar,” Nirvana’s “About a Girl”, multiple songs by The Replacements and even a quick tease of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.”

For more than an hour, the group delivered on the promise of The Things We Do, playing tight, quick, propulsive songs. The set included two new songs from an album Alex said is due in September.

“Thank you for not giving up on us,” Alex told the crowd. “You didn’t really think we were going anywhere, did you?”

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