CHVRCHES at First Avenue, 9/9/13
|Photo by Erik Hess|
Monday, August 9, 2013
First Avenue, Minneapolis
Thirteen songs in 50 minutes. They came rapid-fire, with just enough talk from CHVRCHES lead singer Lauren Mayberry to keep the crowd interested as she touched on Prince, The Mighty Ducks, and the Mall of America at different points during Monday night's set at the sold-out First Avenue. A lot can happen in just under an hour, and it seemed like the Glaswegian electro-pop trio aimed to do just about all of it in the allotted time frame.
Beginning with a fantastic version of "We Sink," the set progressed quickly and efficiently from there. The dual synths of Martin Doherty and Iain Cook, outfitted with "7"-shaped light boxes on the front of the synth stands (Doherty's was backwards for continuity's sake), burst forth with blinding, neon-bright explosions that were intermixed with jagged, almost ugly passages here and there, creating a final result that seemed powerful enough to trigger an extinction event. To call this brand of electro-pop addicting is the understatement of the millennium. By the time the band approached the halfway point with "Lies," Mayberry could have been singing passages from a dishwasher owner's manual and people still would have been dancing.
|Photos by Erik Hess|
Watching Monday's set unfold was like watching the future happen right in front of you. Later in the set Doherty announced that it was the biggest headlining crowd they'd ever played to, though they've played to larger ones at European festivals and opened for Depeche Mode earlier this summer. It won't be the biggest for long -- that's a guarantee.
CHVRCHES will almost certainly never be back to First Avenue, only because there isn't enough space, to say nothing of the fact that they already sound too large for the room, the expansive, glittery electronic beats clawing at the walls for the set's entirety, looking for more space in which to exist. Mayberry's sweet voice delivered dark, at times almost tortured lyrics, making things slightly uncomfortable in the best way possible. CHVRCHES are heading in one direction at the speed of sound and, as of Monday, they looked unstoppable, like a nuclear warhead wouldn't even make a scratch.