2013 has been Chvrches year. The threesome from Glasgow, Scotland has gone from zero to world-takeover status in just over a year’s time. This year saw the band, still in its preadolescence stage, introduce its sound to America and watched it mature from a blog favorite in the U.K. to a band with its name on every year-end top 10 list out this year.
With its newfound American stardom the band recently began playing shows across the pond, debuting in Chicago and hitting festivals and solo gigs alike the last quarter of 2013. Chvrches hit the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta in full stride. After finding its legs and playing with ways to delight the American audience, the band has found a groove when they got to the dirty south. Backed by an impressive light show, crisp sound and veteran-like stage presence, Chvrches has already become a terrific touring act for its growing audience.
The band doesn’t start out with any special intro music, no video montage, nothing. Iain Cook, Martin Doherty and Lauren Mayberry just unassumingly walk on stage from behind the curtain, take their places, announce the already well known band name and begin to play music beautifully. This sets the stage for the set, which a fast paced, but relaxing hour or so of nothing but the music (with Mayberry taking a small break to sip water and talk about a cat named “Wanker”).
Thirteen songs, including encore, follow and are played with the precision and adept musicianship of a band that’s been together much longer than two years. Mayberry, standing all of five foot controls the microphone and crowd with unwavering confidence and a calming vibe. Everyone watching the former journalism major give life to her words are at her mercy and her vocal prowess and innocent dominance fill the room with an unmatched sense of excitement and euphoria.
The first portion of the set gave the Playhouse “We Sink,” “Gun,” “Lungs,” “Now Is Not The Time” and Chvrches first track as a band, “Lies.” Syncing every song, every beat, every note to the light show behind, the band’s no frills showmanship was powerful. This continued through “Recover,” the hit from early this year, all the way to the last pre-encore track, one of 2013’s best songs, “The Mother We Share.” The second Mayberry’s “Ohhhh” was heard, pandaemonium set it and every one in the building felt all of the feels for the next three minutes. By the time they rejoined the sold out Variety for “By The Throat” everyone in the building was having a religious experience.
It’s safe to assume that this is only the beginning for Chvrches. As the band’s library grows, as it gets better as a group, as a band, as musicians and as a band playing to American audiences, it could reach superstardom levels… if it’s not there already.