LIVE REPORTWHITE STAGE7/29 SUN
Synthpop titans electrify at closing set of the fest
Chvrches’ headline set at the White Stage on Sunday night was packed all the way back to the river with punters anticipating a final opportunity to party before the weekend ended. They were not disappointed. The cool and slick synth-pop outfit delivered a massive set of favourites old and new that pleased their stalwart disciples as well as thousands of new converts.
Backlit with spotlights, the band played through bursts of rain that when caught in the light looked like electric confetti, a nice touch nature added to a thumping set. Taking in everything from their very first release to more recent offerings, it was not only a chance to observe the band’s progression from their first to most recent albums, but to experience something totally new when hearing them live. Notable was the difference between older tracks which are cool and slightly sterile on CD and their live interpretation with tracks like “We Sink” and “Lies” sounding much rounder and organic, perhaps in part due to the addition of live drummer Jonny Scott. Later on, new track “God’s Plan” surprised with lofty drops while “Forever”‘s melodics ramped-up the highs. “Clearest Blue” and “Never Say Die” finished out the show, dealing out otherworldly euphorics as singer Lauren Mayberry whirled with abandon about the stage.
These heady peaks and drops were delicious sonic rides even if at times this glossy indie-pop seemed a little too polished to fully grip on to, though Chvrches’ evident warmth towards their Japanese audience was a charming counterpoint, particularly when teasing them with mention of “something” being in the works for a future date in Japan…