When I saw The Maine on their Free For All tour last month, I had no idea who their opening band was going to be.
I had never heard of Beach Weather before, but I was immediately drawn in by their energetic stage presence and fine-tuned, infectious live sound. So you can imagine how impressed I was when they told the audience it was only their fourth show. Ever. But I was also very confused: how did such a brand new band manage to score a spot on such a highly anticipated tour?
Here’s how. Beach Weather is fronted by Nick Santino, an already successful alt-rock artist and close friend of The Maine. At the beginning of this year, Santino formed the band Beach Weather along with Ian Holubiak, Reeve Powers, and Austin Scates. Though they’ve only recently come together, none of the members are amateurs when it comes to touring and playing music.
Santino, in addition to releasing multiple solo EP’s in 2013 and 2014, was the lead singer of the band A Rocket to the Moon from 2006 to 2013. “I was a part of the group Oh Honey right out of college,” Holubiak said, “and [Austin] toured with Lydia. Reeve had his own group growing up and hopped into this band while establishing himself musically in Nashville. All the acts we played with previously were simply wonderful.”
After writing and releasing their debut EP What a Drag, they immediately joined The Maine on tour, thanks to their friendship with the band. When I asked about the writing process of the EP, Nick explained, “We actually wrote most of the songs on a bass plugged into a guitar amp for some reason. We realized writing songs on other instruments than just a guitar seems to strike different ideas and influence.” The unconventional approach definitely worked, because What a Drag is fresh and unique like a debut should be, and the songs are each as good standing alone as they are all together. It’s a classic pop rock sound, but it has an element of dreaminess that sets it apart from other records of the same genre.
Although the sound is a departure from what they’ve done before, it still contains traces of the members’ previous work, particularly A Rocket to The Moon. “Rebel Sun,” the final track on What a Drag, sounds like it should be a song off Wild and Free, ARTTM’s 2013 album, with its lyrical storytelling and effortlessly poppy chorus.
In addition to their old bands, Beach Weather have a wide variety of influences. But their songwriting principle remains consistent: “I personally can listen to Biggie in the same playlist as Bob Dylan. Regardless of our influences, though, we like to play groovy music, noise that makes people want to dance and keep moving.”
Opening for the Maine on their fall tour was the first time the band played shows all together, but you never would have guessed it. Often I find it more difficult to really enjoy and be involved in a band’s live performance if I’ve never listened to their music before, but with these guys it immediately clicked. Their performance was as precise as a recording, but contained that undeniable energy and emotion that can only be captured at a live show.
Their song “Swoon” was a definite highlight, as well as an on-point cover of The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love”. They had me up on my feet and dancing along with the rest of the crowd the whole night, and really seemed to love what they were doing.
For a brand-new band they’re gaining traction crazy quickly, and aren’t planning on stopping anytime soon. “We were lucky enough to get a spot on the Sleeping With Sirens tour that heads to Europe in February. When the news hit we were absolutely amazed at the amount of support we got from all of our fans.”
Beach Weather are a band to get familiar with, because with two big supporting tours and a killer sound, they’re sure to continue making waves.