Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Chvrches and Wet at Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, Nov. 26, 2013

This is Chvrches year.  Their first EP, Recover, was released last March and their debut album, The Bones of What You Believe, came out last September.  They've been on tour almost constantly since at least SXSW last March.  We caught them last September at MFNW in Portland's Roseland Theater and then the next morning at a KEXP radio set at the Doug Fir Lounge.  Last night, their tour took them for the first time to Atlanta.

But first, the Brooklyn band Wet opened.

According to The NY Times, Wet play "majestically downcast love songs topped by vocals with an unexpected Celtic and country tinge."  The Deli Magazine calls them an "electro mellow-core" project that "offers a musical recipe reminiscent of the wise, caucasian soul-pop of MS MR, but with an added personal twist consisting in a subtle quirkiness and an intriguing sonic spaciousness."

Whatever.  They were great last night, very nearly upstaging Chvrches.  Here's a sample:

The audience, of course, was there to hear and see Glasgow's Chvrchess, fronted by singer Lauren Mayberry, the Sweetheart of Scotland.  At the front of the stage, the bros outnumbered the babes by about an 8-to-1 margin. 

There's really nothing to complain about in Chvrches' radio-ready electro-pop, except perhaps a lack of spontaneity.  They played the songs the audience wanted to hear (The Mother We Share, Recover, etc.), and Mayberry was as charismatic and appealing as one could hope for, but given the limitations of her vocal range, the songs all start to sound the same after a while, and the whole thing felt at times a little mechanical and scripted.  I wouldn't go so far as to say they were phoning it in, but I do think the rigors and redundancy of their relentless touring are starting to get to them.

I didn't make it, but kudos to the band for performing an in-store show at Criminal Records before last night's concert.  It's nice to see that they're not "too big" to still reach out to the fans.

Their light show was much more sophisticated than I recall in Portland, one of the perks, I suppose, of their lucrative tour.

Their songs will make nearly everyone's end-of-year lists, and you'll be hearing them on the radio, in car commercials, and on movie soundtracks.  They're good and deserve the recognition and success, and quite frankly, it couldn't have happened to a seemingly nicer trio.

Here's their latest video for their song Lies:

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed Wet's set the most. I could have listened to them for a lot longer than the twenty(?) minutes they gave us. It's always interesting to see how much slicker headliner's set is - light show, more confident, more complicated arrangements.