Chvrches and XXYYXX played the last night of their tour to a sold-out crowd at Terminal 5. The venue is massive, and it was surprising to see the diversity of the crowd with older couples mixed in with teenagers. This kind of witch-housey pop is proving to have wide appeal, and, partially driven by a first-listen NPR feature, Chvrches is among the most accessible of this new wave of girl groups. It’s no wonder these charismatic and talented Scotts sold out a New York venue with ease.
The show started promptly, and XXYYXX (aka Marcel Everett) came to the stage with little introduction. The crowd was sparse at this point, but as his delicate riffs and bass-heavy beats started dropping, people moved in closer. Marcel’s full-body DJing drove the energy of the set. As his more familiar songs came on people started to move up and get a bit more into them music. He only played for around 40 minutes, which didn’t seem like enough considering the early start time.
XXYYXX is definitely worth seeing play a longer set at a smaller venue, where the full dance-ability of his tracks can shine.
Chvrches started their set with “Lies”, an upbeat crowd-pleaser that showcased their tight sonic connection. Since I last saw Chvrches about a year ago, their whole stage presence has became more confident, and their sound has coalesced. The lead singer Lauren Mayberry owned the stage, an obvious effect of being on a nationwide tour for months.
Lauren’s impish appeal was still very much there, with her between song comments at once at ease and awkwardly endearing. At one point, she commented that her neon wrapped mic stand felt like a lightsaber “I can’t grab the shaft” she giggled, then requested a more low-key standard mic stand. The banter with keyboardist-singer Iain Cook is still one of the highlights of the show, and their chemistry is remarkable.
A few stand-out tracks were “Gun” and “The Mother We Share” which had everyone singing along. Lauren’s other-worldly voice floated through Terminal 5 for a great live sound
The ability of Chvrches to carry a show off one not-yet-released album is a testament to their songwriting. People knew almost every song, and connected to the relatable stage presence of Lauren and Iain. I hope this tour with drive a few records sales for this hardworking band – and let them keep making amazing music. You can buy their album The Bones of What You Believe here.