Sunday, November 24, 2013 , Updated 2:14 p.m., November 25, 2013
Concert review: Synth-pop trio CHVRCHES seemed insecure at Dallas show
Leading lady Lauren Mayberry even thanked the crowd for "giving up your Saturday night to be here."
DALLAS Glasgow-bred trio CHVRCHES has achieved indie fame faster than most. Touring both as a supporting act and headliner for about a year before ever releasing recorded music, the band sold out Granada Theater in June with its infectious blend of electro-pop that has dominated the blogosphere in 2013.
CHVRCHES returned Saturday to South Side Ballroom, and while sonically the band’s set was near perfect, the musicians seemed oddly insecure and out of tune with the audience. Adorable lead singer Lauren Mayberry even went as far to thank everyone for “giving up your Saturday night to be here.”
The evening began with the minimalist sounds of Basecamp, a Nashville-based three-piece whose set lights were too dim and the volume too low. The band’s sound was pretty zen, reminiscent of The Weeknd and Chet Faker, but the performance lacked energy, and the artistic connection was lost. Basecamp redeemed itself with a remake of Ace of Base’s “All That She Wants” to close out the set.
CHVRCHES stormed the stage just after 9 p.m., entering a blue hue of lights and fog to play the first notes of “We Sink,” one of the peppiest tune’s off the band’s debut The Bones Of What You Believe, which came out in September. Mayberry’s angelic voice rang earnestly throughout the venue as a seizure-worthy parade of LEDs flashed behind her.
Fans gushed over popular tracks like “Gun,” “Recover” and “The Mother We Share.” Sample maven Martin Doherty’s vocal performance in “Under The Tide” was especially impressive as he spread the song’s optimistic message over a synth-laden backdrop.
But the experience was short lived. Mayberry announced before the last song – a mere hour after CHVRCHES took the stage – that “anyone who knows our album knows this is it.” The band sequentially performed one song and left the stage as the audience roared for an encore. The band came back, somewhat reluctantly, but shot it straight.
Mayberry announced CHVRCHES would only perform a one-song encore because she had eaten Torchy's Tacos earlier. Bizarrely honest? Maybe, but she charmed her way out of any guilt Dallas may have held against her.
True to Mayberry’s word, CHVRCHES band members played one old tune that no one seemed to recognize and concluded the show 10:15 p.m. The performance wasn’t enough to satisfy the hunger for Saturday night adventure, however, and the crowd dispersed in search of other happenings around the city.
CHVRCHES may have perfected its live sound, which rivals the band’s studio work in terms of quality. But the trio did little to actively engage its followers at South Side. At $45 a ticket, CHVRCHES' one-hour performance made a strong case for simply buying the album and turning the volume all the way up.