Lauren Mayberry, ever chipper, bantered with the audience during the sold-out show by Chvrches at The Anthem recently, making reference to an unkind review from earlier in the band’s career.
“It said, the only thing standing between Chvrches and stardom is the person standing at the front of the stage,” Lauren said, pausing while the audience groaned appropriately. “Well, how do you like me now, motherfucker?”
Like her the audience did with approving squeals, as Lauren twirled and pounced through 18 songs drawn from three Chvrches studio albums. Chvrches most recently released Love Is Dead, their third album, this year via Virgin EMI Records and Goodbye Records, and the new songs comprised half the show.
Lauren bounded onto stage to the synths of “Get Out,” as her bandmates Iain Cook and Martin Doherty stood to the left and right side of her, forming a path where she would stomp around in oversized boots and whip her head frenetically. As usual, rockstar makeup decorated the face of our favorite Scots pixie, and she wore a sheer white overgarment that flowed and played in the strobelights used generously throughout the show.
The singer was in constant motion for the first several songs, but she slowed down considerably for “Graffiti,” a standout song from Love Is Dead. The nostalgic number features Iain and Martin with their most resplendent synths and Lauren’s voice brandishes a memorable tune that uses simple repetition in the words “never will” to take us all back to our lost childhoods.
Watch the official music video for “Graffiti” by Chvrches on YouTube:
For my money, the best songs by Chvrches appear on their second album, Every Open Eye, and the trio presented three of the best of them during the show. The positivity of “Bury It” shined as the second song of the set, and later Chvrches wisely closed the set with “Leave a Trace” and “Clearest Blue,” two of the most lovely pieces of synthpop crafted in the 21st Century so far.
When introducing “Leave a Trace,” Lauren highlighted the song as a fan-favorite that propelled the second album to success as lead single because people like us in The Anthem loved it so much.
Of course, in the encore, Chvrches played “The Mother We Share,” the breakthrough single from first album The Bones of What You Believe, which put them on the map. Equally well-received early single “Gun” appeared earlier in the set. Before leaving The Anthem’s stage, Chvrches performed “Never Say Die” from the new record.
Chvrches have wrapped their US tour, but we are sure to hear again from the dynamic Scottish synthpoppers soon. Here are some pictures of Chvrches performing at The Anthem on Oct. 18, 2018.