Words & Photos by Scott Murry
Each time PVRIS returns to play in Boston, it’s like a massive homecoming. Their turf is Lowell, Massachusetts, but this is their hometown show. Touring their new summer release All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell, excitement was at its peak for the sold-out evening at the House of Blues. Even the photo pit was a busy space as local and national media outlets yearned to photograph a bit of the memorable set. Elaborate camera rigs with massive booms filled every corner of the room with the big night being recorded as well. This was a huge local show.
All We Know has intoxicating electronic rhythms with a dark edge. Their smoky stage presence engulfed the mood with geometric shapes and light patterns that seem torn and distraught—they’ve seen some dark things. The dark core of this harkens from predecessors like Nine Inch Nails or the Bauhaus-devoted Kraftwerk, it’s brooding, but with stark design aesthetics. Large globed stage lights set the backdrop, conjuring thoughts of an old gloomy England where Jack the Ripper and Holmes would lurk.
PVRIS project positive vibes through this dark veil, “Boston baby! This is like our hometown show, thank you so much!” Lynn Gunn howled graciously as she draped a rainbow flag over her mic proudly displaying her LGBTQ pride. She excitedly shared with fans that they’d teamed up with the Ally Coalition, an organization devoted to LGBTQ equality. A portion of ticket sales is going directly to their support. This admirable move was met with a swarm of cheers.
Gunn showed her talents in multi-facets, even stepping behind a second drum kit at times. Relishing the hometown momentum, the band took a “family photo” from the stage with the audience behind them. It was like a massive high school glamour shot. In another moment, a wedding proposal took place on stage—which went well with a “yes.” So while they may be looking to build a darker tone, this evening was bursting with positivity.
Lights performed just prior, also touring with her brand new album Skin and Earth. The shocking magenta locks whipped around the front woman as she sauntered the stage. Enigmatic musicians like her offer bright, positive tunes that create a parade of positivity. In a soundtrack of these beats, their lives can go anywhere and the endorphins flow freely. Bright stacks of light illuminated the front rows, making fans like celebrities themselves as they danced. They weren’t the only ones feeling the vitamin d boost, “Shoutout to you all on the second balcony dancing your asses off. Thanks to you guys, for just being so fucking cool,” Lights yelled with a smile.
Dancing was deep in the cards all night. Opener Flint Eastwood encouraged it vehemently, “You guys feel like getting loose, huh?” She continually pushed the crowd for exclamation, re-iterating “I want loud, not pretty!” She comes out like a vicious slugger with the smooth party tone.