Ending 2021 on a rather high note, revered indietronica band Chvrches recently completed their North American tour with a final stop at the renowned Hollywood Palladium. The seven-week run supported the band’s fourth studio album Screen Violence, released August 27th on Glassnote Records. Other noteworthy stops on the tour included Las Vegas’ Brooklyn Bowl, San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, and NYC’s Terminal 5 along with a plethora of others. This was the band’s first tour across the states prior to COVID and this lucky journalist’s first time having the opportunity to experience the band live.
Unfortunately opening band British indie rock band Wet Lag had to cancel due to COVID exposure. This meant that direct support singer-songwriter Donna Missal and Chvrches had to go on earlier in the evening but also that avid fans didn’t have to wait as long to watch their beloved headlining band perform. Once Missal finished her dynamic and emotive set, Chvrches took center stage greeted by a cheering and eager audience.
Once a three-piece band, now with four members, Chvrches has since added a live drummer. Although this was my first time catching a Chvrches show, it is clear that live drums have helped intensify the energy and groove of Chvrches’ live set. Despite synth player Iaian Smith being out temporarily due to a positive COVID test, Chvrches performed at every stop scheduled on their North American tour except for one as a result of a snowstorm. This, a huge victory in itself resulted in a rather triumphant vibe for the band’s electrifying and dance worthy live performance.
From the moment the spotlight shined on front woman and lead singer, Lauren Mayberry, you could tell there was something very special about her. Changing her outfit multiple times throughout the show, Mayberry’s star power could easily be called intoxicating. For her third costume change of the night she returned wearing fake blood, playing into the theme of the band’s latest album Screen Violence.
Kicking off their set with lead Screen Violence single “He Said She Said,” Chvrches electro infused set intertwined familiar favorites with their newer material. Next up were buoyant single “Forever” and their hit single “Leave a Trace.” This was followed by “California,” a song that confronts the terrifying and very plausible the possibility of failing in Los Angeles. As Mayberry held her head up high, the audience could witness her immense gratitude of having experienced tremendous success on her musical journey in Los Angeles.
Other featured songs of the evening included “The Mother We Share,” “Never Say Die,” “Night Sky,” and “Forever” along with new Robert Smith collaboration “How Not to Drown.” Chvrches ended their set with the heart bursting and joyful leaning “Clearest Blue,” which left the eager audience begging for more. Altogether, the vibe was incomparable to any other musical experience. A live Chvrches performance fuses the best parts of a rock show, rave, and pop show into a tremendously good time. It’ll be exciting to see what Chvrches dreams up next.