CHVRCHES w/ Summer Cannibals – Concert Review

CHVRCHES w/ Summer Cannibals
Crystal Ballroom

IMG_6001There are few words to describe exactly what a CHVRCHES concert feels like. One word I know is true: it feels like magic.

Thanks to Portland’s own 94/7 Alternative Radio, the Crystal Ballroom was treated to a most amazing night with the Glasgow trio, sold out at only $9.47 a ticket.

Of course, 94/7 also treated the local “Chvrch-goers” to a FREE Mississippi Studios session, which I unfortunately was not able to attend, but I heard it was fabulous! 

The main event was opened up by local band Summer Cannibals (sorry The Ecstatics). Summer Cannibals are for fans of bands like Speedy Ortiz or Wild Flag. They rock for sure, sending the crowd into a bass-heavy, head-banging frenzy,  but the music is more artistic than just a simple beat and riffs. There are cords that keep you on your toes, and patterns that come up from out of nowhere, and it all blends together like a perfect painting.

Plus, the band went retro, bringing some cassettes of their debut album, No Makeup, to the merch table.

The crowd was then treated to a nice, long wait for the entrance of Lauren, Martin, and Iain. The longer the wait, the more the anticipation, and the more the anticipation, the louder the response. This held true with the dimming of the lights, and the starting flash of the strobes.

Lights are one of the many elements that define a CHVRCHES concert. Some have said that it seems like the band is trying to get the audience to have one mass seizure. The lights are beautiful to watch in time with the electronic music they produce. With huge triangles of lights in the shape of their album cover, as well as strobes and colored, flashing bulbs of magic, the audiences eyes were mesmerized just the right amount to compliment what their ears felt.

The music definitely does not sink in quality live. Seeing the band perform everything right there is very cool. Between the ripping guitar of Iain, and the keyboard and synth work of both Iain and Martin, and let’s not leave out the adorable, and at the same time haunting, voice of Ms. Lauren Mayberry, the music came together just how our ears wanted it to. It was like sweet candy.

One of my favorite tracks from the show was Under the Tide, a song which ushers Lauren to stage left, and puts Martin front and center, taking the lead vocals. Martin’s stage presence is just unbelievable. His energy is immeasurable. His dance moves… indescribable. Take a look at a recording of the live performance at their Oakland show here.

CHVRCHES definitely did not disappoint. The crowd loved it, and according to Twitter, so did the trio from Glasgow. The Portland show was the kickoff to their US tour, so check to see if their hitting your town, and GO SEE THEM LIVE!


p.s. In case you didn’t know Lauren Mayberry is fricking adorable, look at this GIF…

Lauren GIF

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