By Jared Allen
October 18, 2018
Charlotte doesn’t have many traditions, but one we could get accustomed to is Chvrches stopping by the Fillmore every other October for a night of vibrant, bittersweet synth tunes. The Glaswegian three-piece visited the Fillmore two years ago around this time and lit up the place with their spirited sophomore release Every Open Eye, and on Tuesday they did the exact same touring off their newest album Love is Dead.
Love is Dead is bigger, brighter and perhaps better than the band’s two previous highly acclaimed records. Considering The Bones of What You Believe brought Chvrches’ highest charting single to date (“The Mother We Share”) and Every Open Eye solidified the Scots as a force in the booming synth-pop genre, few might agree. But at the very least, Chvrches’ third installment has elevated the band’s live performance to another level.
It’s a fresh look Chvrches with Jonny Scott, the band’s new live drummer, who led the foursome out from behind the curtain and into “Get Out,” Love is Dead’s lead single. Since the band’s inception in 2011 they’ve toured as a three-piece, but decided to add another element to the live show on this world tour. It’s refreshing to see and the added instrument gives Chvrches a fourth dimension. The new material sounds authentic, because most tracks were recorded with live drums anyways. It creates a more organic sound and falls in the footsteps of why Chvrches plays the synths live, but it’s only a sliver of what they have added to their live show.
After following up the leadoff track with “Bury It,” “Gun,” and “Graves,” Martin Doherty took center stage for not one, but two tracks as the band’s frontman. In the past, the keyboardist has often times performed either “Under The Tide” or “High Enough To Carry You Over,” both of which he’s provided vocals for on the band’s previous two records, but he’s seldom performed both live. However, with the new look Chvrches he conducted both “Under The Tide” and “God’s Plan,” his newest track off Love Is Dead. The energy the keyboardist unleashes is frankly unrivaled by his fellow band members and the spark he ignites is always a high-point in any Chvrches show. He grabs the mic with passion, all while stomping and bouncing across the stage yanking the same energy from the animated crowd.
The zestful performance led into “Science/Visions” and hit track “Clearest Blue,” which had the pit fistpumping and headbanging in unison. The sapphire colored lights gleamed and the audience clapped along knowing that the party was coming to an end. Chvrches bowed out of the limelight for a moment, but ultimately returned to joke and brief the crowd on how they (or any other Scottish band) wanted to be re-welcomed. Frontwoman Lauren Mayberry led the chant, “Here we. Here we f*cking go” before the Fillmore broke into a sing-along to “The Mother We Share” and “Never Say Die.”
Little changed between the two shows two years apart. Sure, the band introduced a new live drummer, Martin basked in the limelight for two songs, and they sold more tickets. But even still, it was the same old Chvrches, who’s raw emotion and melodious synth-pop tunes are just as good, if not better than they were two years ago.
Check out the remaining 2018-19 tour dates for Chvrches.