Words & Photos by James Alvarez
Hot off the heels of their second full length album, 2015’s Every Open Eye, and en route to back to back weekends of mainstage action at Coachella, the electronic mavens in Chvrches played a special warm up show at The Observatory in Santa Ana last week. The sold out show was quite literally, packed to the venue’s rafters/recently added balconies, all filled with die-hard fans frothing at the mouth over the chance to see these electronic wizards in such an intimate setting.
The band opened with “Never Ending Circles,” the booming first track off their latest album, which prompted a massive sing along from the capacity crowd that didn’t subside until the closing moments of the band’s breakthrough hit and final song of the evening, “The Mother We Share.” Chvrches’ hour plus set alternated between newer songs and material off their 2013 debut, The Bones of What You Believe. This meant fans got to hear pulsating numbers like “Gun” and “Bury It” sandwiched together, much to everyone’s delight. Lauren Mayberry’s petite frame gave way to that uniquely powerful voice of hers, shouting “bury it and rise above!” while running across the stage and quasi headbanging for most of the night. Iain Cook and Martin Doherty rocked their synths and samplers like nobody’s business, whipping the floor into a frenzy on songs like “Keep You On My Side.” Iain came up to play bass while Lauren handled extra percussion duties on “Empty Threat.” Martin took center stage and sang for an earnest performance of “High Enough To Carry You Over,” and then led the crowd in a wild dance off during “Under The Tide.” From their uncanny light show, the band’s impassioned performances, down to Lauren’s funny stage banter, rife with Lord of The Rings impersonations and shout outs to Martin’s fly Snapchat account, this evening with Chvrches was definitely something special.
Be sure to watch Chvrches dominate the mainstage at Coachella and catch them the next time they roll through your town.