CHVRCHES >> rolled through another desert the other night, this time headlining a post-Coachella show at Marquee Theatre. It was their first ever appearance in Tempe and they certainly set it off proper in their sold-out inaugural mass.
Just after 9pm Ms. Lauren and her bandmates got on stage and opened with 'We Sink'. The sea of peeps waiting around for 30 minutes prior all antsy got into the groove a bit at the start then erupted at the first 'SAY! SAY! SAY!' belted by the Scottish trio.
A few songs later was 'Lungs' which I think is one of their rookie album's best songs. I named The Bones Of What You Believe one of the best releases of 2013 because of hot shit like this. The section after the hook is even more incredible live. It's so much more crunchy with bass yet still on that 64-bit tip even the cripples have to get down on it.
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'Tether' blew my shit away too. I'm such a sucker for when leading ladies slow it down for a sec for down-tempo display of their vocal prowess. Maja from The Sounds singing 'Night After Night' or Emily from Metric singing 'Gimme Sympathy' [both also at Marquee Theatre btw] smitten me to the max but the illness about 'Tether' was the super electric jam that ensued after everyone sang the breakdown with her.
After the 'Night Sky' dropped, the band took a moment to greet us. Lauren mentioned although it was her first time in the valley, she's known all about it since she was 14 years old because of Jimmy Eat World. I wasn't expecting to hear a JEW shout-out from a young band with roots 10,000 miles away. Bonus alert. Later on in the show before the last song she said she wished they prepared a cover of 'The Middle' for us. Maybe next time and hopefully that's not too far away.
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During 'Recover' it sounded like some really crisp clap samples going off after the bridge but to my surprise it was the heavy hand claps of the crowd, abundantly and eerily in unison with the drum machine, like when you have star power in Guitar Hero and you're shredding and melting animated faces off and you haven't left your house in 3 days because you haven't gotten 100% on 'Free Bird' yet and you haven't showered and your mom keeps calling all worried if you're still alive and you're malnourished so you've ordered your second pizza of the day because you can make a hands-free call to Gus's on another try and answer the door while the gods tally up your score but it's fucking 99% again!! Oh wait, what happened? I blacked out. Yeah not exactly like that, but mainly these loud, uniform hand claps sounded like Marquee attendees rehearsed with CHVRCHES during sound check.
This elec-trio [see what I did there?] is so much fun and talented on multiple levels. In addition to blissful vocals, each member plays a few other instruments from guitar, bass, and variety of synths that channel and resound earth's most creative noise, not to mention some cool bouncy dance moves here and there.
CHVRCHES seem just as fun-loving as this audience in Tempe and perhaps all the festival attendees they've played for in recent weeks. They appear to be on the festival circuit this season so no doubt I'm going to check them out at either Outside Lands or ACL or Bonnaroo or Lolla or fuck my life I need to get my hands on some wristbands. See you there?
Setlist: We Sink * Lies * Lungs * Gun * Night Sky * Science/Visions * Recover * Tether * Under The Tide * The Mother We Share * ENCORE: You Caught The Light * By The Throat