Last Tuesday, Scottish electronic band CHVRCHES played a sold out show at the Aggie Theater in Fort Collins. The group has been touring for the past year since the release of their fantastic debut album: The Bones of What You Believe.
The opener was another electronic artist, The Range, also touring off his debut album, Non-Fiction. The Range’s music is very ambient and soft; it didn’t make for a very enthusiastic concert. The audience seemed bored and impatient during his 45-minute set. While his music isn’t bad, it’s something you would listen to while you’re doing homework or before you go to bed. It’s relaxing, not something you would go to see in concert.
CHVRCHES came on half an hour after The Range closed his set. The band opened with the second track off the album, “We Sink.” CHVRCHES’ music is very heavy compared to that of The Range; they’re the current masters of electronic-pop-rock right now.
The band is composed the very cute singer and occasional synth player, Lauren Mayberry; synth player and occasional vocalist, Martin Doherty; and synth, guitarist and bassist, Iain Cook. Mayberry stood between Cook and Doherty who played behind two lighting bolt shaped booths on both sides of the stage. A lighted triangle, the symbol the band used on their album artwork, stood backstage.
The band played the entirety of their album. Favorites included “Lungs,” “Tether,” & “Recover.” The audience was electrified by the performance and lightshow, a drastic change from the reaction The Range received.
The band delivered fairly entertaining banter. A concertgoer brought a UK flag with him. Mayberry addressed the fan and told him that they were Scottish and how the flag could be seen somewhat controversial after the recent vote for Scottish independence.
They claimed to be surprised by a sold-out show on a Tuesday, a result hard to expect in a smaller market like Fort Collins. However, the local university, Colorado State University, must have brought in a few fans. Additionally, the town is only an hour away from Denver, so fans in the Mile High City weren’t making as major a commitment to the show as say, those from Colorado Springs.
One of the best moments was when Doherty and Mayberry switched places for the song “Under The Tide.” Mayberry is a great singer, but she isn’t a very electrifying performer; Doherty, on the other hand, is a decent singer at best, but a stunning performer. He danced around in circles jumping from leg to leg while singing. He really gave the audience some excitement, where Mayberry remained relatively stationary.
The band closed their set with the hit single, “The Mother We Share.” The audience was enthralled and sang along. The band came back for an encore with two easily forgettable songs.
CHVRCHES has great songs and puts on good show, but it appeared that this was a latter end of a year’s worth of touring. Touring off of one album and an EP means that there is only so much material the band can pull from at this point in their career. At this point, fans probably knew all the songs pretty well. There were no surprises, new songs or covers. The band seemed somewhat bored of their songs after a years worth of touring in support of Bones.
The group will be touring the United States, Europe, and Asia until the end of November. Hopefully, when they’re done they will take a solid break before they get in the studio and start working on new material.