Occasionally we treat ourselves to a show that we really just want to see. On Wednesday, October 14, Head Writer, Wyndi, and I travelled up from Tacoma to see a concert at the Paramount in downtown Seattle. It happened to feature one of my favorite acts, CHVRCHES.
First off, if you have never been to the Paramount Theater in Seattle, you are missing out. The venue was built in 1928 during the “Roarin’ Twenties” and it is a grandiose over-the-top architectural wonder fitting for that era. The multi-tiered theater is adorned with a tons of intricate carvings and gold-laden details and fixtures. Its vaulted ceilings and chandeliers are worth the price admission.
Once done admiring the architecture and finding our seats in the general admission balcony section, it was time for the show to start. As the lights dimmed on the audience, the stage lights came up and Australian band, Mansionair took the stage. The trio of Jack Froggatt, Lachlan Bostock and Alex Nicholls takes synth-pop to an interesting place that focuses on falsetto vocals, spacious instrumentation and heavy percussion.
Their interaction with the crowd was fun, lighthearted and was capped by the lead singer admitting that he had a very intimate connection with Seattle saying that he was conceived in the Emerald City. Their set was very chill with highlights coming with their new single, “Speak Easy” and a cover of the Future Islands’s “Seasons (Waiting On You)”.
After a few additional songs, they ended with their best known song, “Hold Me Down.” The minimalist percussion and stinging guitar riff on this track was the culmination of their whole playlist. It was the end to a solid set.
So for the few minutes that it took to clear and reset the stage, the anticipation only increased for the headliners. The crowd went from a hushed murmur to a buzz then to full on cheers as the lights dimmed waiting and anticipating the entrance of CHVRCHES.
The first image of the Scottish group is their lead singer, Lauren Mayberry, silhouetted against a brilliant column of white light. It was a heck of an entrance and from there it was everything you would expect from the electropop superstars. It was a nonstop whirlwind of funky beats and thumping bass with Mayberry singing her heart out with energy like it was the first show of the tour.
CHVRCHES just kept playing and put on a two-hour set that covered songs like “Gun,” “Recover” and even Martin Doherty got in his song “Under The Tide.” Of course, they had to play their newest singles as well, “Leave a Trace”, “Clearest Blue” and “Never Ending Circles.” As CHVRCHES announced that they were done for the evening, everyone knew that there would be an encore, and they did not disappoint by ending with their smash hit, “The Mother We Share.”
While every song enticed toe-tapping and crowd clapping, the lighting was a little aggressive and at times made it difficult to watch the stage. Despite the blinding lights, there was nothing more I could have asked for from this performance. Every couple of songs, they would stop and chat with the audience. I mean, who does not want to hear a smart, talented woman with a Scottish accent curse and call out her band mates as being video game geeks?
What a great high energy show that started off with Mansionair and finished with the unbelievable CHVRCHES! It was one of the best concerts I have been to in the last few years. I would certainly see CHVRCHES again and you probably should too!
Look for CHVRCHES’s brand new album, Every Open Eye, out now on iTunes!
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