My summer concert schedule kicked off with a bit of a dud at the LC. Brilliant young Scottish band Chvrches (the group responsible for the 12th best song and 4th best album of 2013) was set to play their biggest show as a headliner. And then they faced the one thing they couldn’t overcome and I couldn’t work around: nature.
You see, I’m a spectacled person (if memory serves I have 20/400 vision in my left eye) and I don’t use contact lenses. This seems like needless personal detail until pouring rain interferes with a concert. A light shower isn’t a problem, but heavy rain ruins the entire thing. And unfortunately, that’s exactly what hit the show, only 5 songs into Chvrches’ set. At that point I abandoned the LC lawn and took shelter in the A&R bar until the heaviest rain (and lightning) passed.
In a positive light, what parts I did (and could) see of Chvrches were outstanding. “We Sink” set a delightful dark mood as the show opener, and the booming bass did wonders in bringing the crowd to life early. The entire refrain sequence of “Gun” makes a great translation to the lout and immediate of the live setting. Throughout, Lauren Mayberry’s vocals were high points. She gave a technically impressive performance (replicating the notes hit on record), all while adding energy necessary to give the show even more force.
The standout best song of the set was Chvrches’ biggest song, “The Mother We Share.” “Mother” was saved for the very end of the main set, and has been tuned to near-perfection. A combination of familiarity, distinctive melody, and those opening handclaps (yes, seriously) brought the soaking crowd to a roar for one last hurrah (before an encore). I’ve previously sold the track as the band’s 2nd best piece, but it was easily their top song in Columbus, a Great live work.
But the nagging problem returns: I can’t help but feel somewhat disappointed by the sum of the night. The opener was a nondescript DJ, a serious downgrade from the playlist used prior to his performance (I’d much rather listen to more LCD Soundsystem, and cutting off “Wolf Like Me” is a crime). And then the rain. I understand that many in attendance were delighted by the soaking experience, but no vision and general discomfort left me sour.
Go see Chvrches. They’re fantastic. Do avoid the rain. It sucks.