On one of the windiest nights Dallas has seen this winter, I headed over to Tulips in Fort Worth to spend the evening with Philadelphia-based indie rock band Slaughter Beach, Dog. The band, fronted by Jake Ewald (formerly of Modern Baseball), formed in 2014 as a solo project after the previously mentioned band went on hiatus. In 2023, Slaughter Beach, Dog released their fifth studio album Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling, an album clearly inspired by country and folk sounds. This album marked a shift for the band’s sound, as it embraced a more stripped down and laid-back style of music. I was extremely excited to see them perform these new songs on this tour.

Slaughter Beach, Dog invited Austin-based band Sun June to open for them. The five-piece band led by vocalist Laura Colwell had an electric energy as soon as they stepped on stage and kept that energy up for their entire set. The crowd seemed to brighten up as soon as the band mentioned they were Texas natives. A true connection was formed between Sun June and the crowd as they performed songs from their latest record Bad Dream Jaguar.

After the band’s exciting set, the crowd — myself included— anxiously waited for Slaughter Beach, Dog to enter the stage. The band did so fairly quickly, as they tuned and tested their own instruments. I truly enjoyed watching their routine to prepare for the night ahead— it humanized them. The current lineup consists of Jake Ewald, Ian Farmer, Adam Meisterhans, Zack Robbins and Logan Roth. The band clearly enjoys doing what they love as a group, and many laughs and inside jokes could be seen coming from the stage. They opened with a few songs from their most recent album, including “Bobcat Club” and “Strange Weather,” introducing the laid-back feel that the album offers. The album features a good deal of spoken-word-like delivery, which is very reminiscent of older country and blues music. Ewald sings on the track “Summer Windows” that he wants to “write it like Townes Van Zandt,” and I definitely see where he’s getting at. Ewald seemed to really enjoy speaking to the crowd and sharing his feelings about old hometown memories. It’s real, raw, and could connect with anyone in the crowd. The band performed “Engine,” the longest song on the new record, and captivated the crowd with stories of stolen vans and family reunions. I caught myself smiling at Ewald’s witty writing and got the sense that he does not take things too seriously— he truly just enjoys telling stories and having people listen.

As the set came to an end, the band started to perform some fan favorites, and the crowd went wild. The crowd was by far the loudest for their iconic folky love song “Acolyte,” and ironically, I did feel a lot of love in that room. The band said their goodbyes, but after a few “One more song!” chants, they were back for a few more songs. Ewald performed an acoustic cover of “Intersection” by Modern Baseball and it was clear that many fans were feeling nostalgic for the iconic emo band. As soon as the other four members joined Ewald on stage again, the energy was back up and the crowd was ready for what was to come next. The band then performed their last two songs, “Your Cat” and “104 Degrees,” which are loved dearly by the fandom. Everyone let loose for those last songs and the energy was electric. The band was thrashing around the stage, the crowd was jumping and the night ended off on a high. I felt very lucky to finally be able to see a band I have wanted to for years, and they did not disappoint. Although Slaughter Beach, Dog started a decade ago, their passion for their craft is just as alive as ever.



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