Sunday, 22 November 2015

Chvrches - Newcastle Academy

Last night saw Chvrches return to a sold-out Newcastle Academy.

I first saw Chvrches play at Glastonbury 2014 and, while they impressed me then, it's amazing to see how far the band have progressed since then. All three members look much more comfortable onstage, while frontwoman Lauren Mayberry's voice and performance are much more powerful.

Tonight, Chvrches songs sounded like they were made to be played on stage; no matter how loud you play their albums, on stage, the songs gain an extra energy and volume that just can't be achieved elsewhere. This energy, and the added lighting effects, allow the band to fill the stage more than you might expect, considering two members are behind plugged in synths!

The set list seamlessly combined tracks from both albums, the crowd reacting just as enthusiastically to both newer and older tracks. Newest single "Empty Threat" saw Lauren multitasking, pounding on a set of synth drums in between bouncing around the stage.

The lights added an extra visual element to the set, "Science/Visions" coming across like the soundtrack to a bad-ass cyberpunk movie.

Martin Doherty and Lauren switched roles to perform "Under the Tide", his performance similarly brimming with new-found confidence and prompting a massive sing-a-long.

Between songs, the band were chatty and seemed happy to be there, even as the room collectively mourned the closure of Metro Land (google it).

I left the venue an even bigger fan of the band than before, which is how I think gig's should make you feel - as they're playing, you feel as though that particular band is your all-time favourite, the only band you ever want to hear. That band, tonight, was Chvrches.

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