25 Sep 2015: Rough Trade New York
Two years after Scottish electropop trio Chrvches released their debut album, The Bones of What You Believe, the group has returned with their second collection of synthy jams. To celebrate the arrival of Every Open Eye, the outfit performed a private show (hosted for a SiriusXM audience) at Williamsburg’s Rough Trade and quickly got the crowd of industry insiders, musicians, and lucky fans shaking to the tunes.
Every Open Eye isn’t much of a departure from the hook-filled synthpop that has become Chrvches’ calling card; the band easily melded audience favorites like “Recover” and “The Mother We Share” with new tracks like “Make Them Gold” and “Bury It”. After launching into recent single “Never Ending Circles” and the classic “We Sink” to start the show, the band paused to thank the eager audience, while also noting that the new songs had only been performed live once before.
If Chvrches were nervous about playing their (mostly unheard) collection of new tracks, there was no way to tell from their manner on stage. With lead singer Lauren Mayberry cracking jokes throughout the night (apparently bandmate Ian Cook’s dad is not a fan of her liberal use of profanity) and both Cook and third band member Martin Doherty impressively spazzing out above their synths and other instruments, the trio seemed completely comfortable with their ascendancy from indie darlings to borderline mainstream synth-poppers.
One of the best moments of the night actually came when Mayberry and Doherty switched positions before The Bones of What You Believe’s “Under the Tide”. With Mayberry sliding into Doherty’s spot behind his keys, the latter jumped up front and enthusiastically belted out his lyrics while flailing his limbs around like a madman. Sure, the dude has some pretty odd dance moves, but when the chorus hit, his crazed thrashing and hearty screams of “Come on!” incited the crowd to one of the night’s best dance moments.
The group also didn’t seem to be particularly fazed by the Pope’s visit to the city. Since they have a performance at Central Park’s SummerStage on their schedule (where the Pope had recently visited), Mayberry reflected that it was almost as if the Pope was opening for the band. (Unsurprisingly, those kinds of jokes don’t go over as well with the ultra-religious!)
In any case, with the exception of the molasses-esque “Afterglow”, every song seemed ready for the indie dancefloor. Maybe audiences will someday grow weary of hearing yet another synth party starter from Chrvches, but, for now, there aren’t a whole lot of bands who can keep the crowd’s energy exploding out of the roof for the entirety of the show. And for a Friday night concert, a couple hours before you’ve completely lost yourself in the thick of the weekend haze, what else could you want?
Never Ending Circles
Keep You on My Side
Make Them Gold
Under the Tide
The Mother We Share
Leave a Trace
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