Chvrches at Metro Chicago
I was legitimately excited to see Chvrches at Metro Chicago. I’m talking full on listening to tracks on repeat on the way to the show excited, and that doesn’t happen very often. In the grand scheme of things, the fact that they sold out the Metro on a school night is far more important than my personal feelings because that obviously means I’m not the only one that was excited. This is especially important when you take into account the fact they don’t have a full album released yet, so most of the people in attendance have heard a grand total of six Chvrches songs. In light of all of this, I want to take a minute to go on record and tell you that everything you’ve heard about Chvrches and their live show is wrong. It’s better.
Let’s start, and probably finish, with Lauren Mayberry, the lead singer. Physically, she’s a slightly elvish, maybe even waifish, presence that is completely eclipsed by the lighting hardware surrounding her on the stage. She has a girl next door attitude reminiscent of Natalie Portman or Rachael Leigh Cook as an extra in Party Monster. Somehow, those physically dainty characteristics that you can’t help but fall in love with for their sheer emotional vulnerability also help Mayberry tap into her spirit animal, 80s Cyndi Lauper.
I’d be remiss not the mention the Indi-EDM powerhouse duo of Iain Cook and Martin Doherty that bring up the cohesive backend of the sound. They come correct, but truthfully, they play second (and third, I guess) chair to Mayberry in the grand scheme of CHVRCHΞS. Live, the entire band sounds a lot like they do on the album, and most times I would fault a band for almost perfectly reproducing their sound. In this particular instance I don’t give a shit because the addition of the light show and hearing all the tracks come together, even with the pre-production, gives you a reason to fall in love with music all over again. Not to mention the girl next door part that Mayberry plays in the entire equation.
Remember how you listened to the Drive soundtrack on repeat for weeks on end after seeing Baby Goose in his weird, emotionally epic road trip? CHVRCHΞS is like that. The same sort of epic emotional story presented in an almost too short period of time… except it’s slightly more upbeat and filled with vocals, the girl you’ve been in love with since Freddy Prinze Jr stole her from you, tambourine and a light show that makes most touring DJs look like amateurs. It’s like being an extra in your own 80s music video, but better.