I have been obsessed with Chvrches since discovering their music early last year. Since then, they have become one of the the hottest international acts, and their debut album, The Bones Of What You Believe, landed the #3 spot on LA Music Blog’s list of the 50 best albums of 2013. I wanted to make it out to the group’s show at The Glass House in Pomona Monday night in the event I couldn’t go to Coachella, but lucky for me, I’ll get to see Chvrches twice this week, both at SoCal’s biggest music festival and in one of its best smaller venues.
After speeding like a mad man from the West Side to Pomona, I made it in the door of the venue with two minutes to spare before the Scottish trio took the stage. With that adrenaline already flowing, it’s amazing I didn’t have a heart attack when they opened with “We Sink,” one of the more driving and high-energy songs on the album. The crowd ate it up from that first moment, singing every lyric and dancing like it wasn’t Monday.
I have to admit being embarrassingly surprised by the musicianship Chvrches displays during their live show. I don’t know if I expected them to have less energy or ability based on my general bias to electronic music, but they brought it in every way, shape, and form. Iain Cook and Martin Doherty do a little bit of everything, running the tracks, singing, and playing bass, guitar, keys, and MPC. I was really blown away when Doherty took the mic on “Under The Tide.” His vocal performance may not have been perfect, but the man danced all over that stage like he was just healed by an Evangelical minister.
Based on her tight and clean sound on the record, I thought that singer Lauren Mayberry’s vocals might come across as thin live, but not only does she hold each note with power and clarity, she controls the stage while doing so, kicking and punching in the background when she isn’t singing.
Chvrches’ lighting was fantastic. Each of the instrumentalists had a cutout in front of their equipment that lit an outline of a segment of the band’s logo. Behind the group was the rest of the logo, which also lit up and was surrounded by a slew of rotating lights and strobes timed perfectly to each song.
Chvrches must have still been high off their Coachella performance from Saturday because despite their young tenure as a band, they played with the confidence and experience of musicians who have been rocking the festival circuit for years. I can’t believe I get to see them twice in one week.
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