Chvrches returned to Tulsa last Monday to deliver a wonderful performance at Cain’s Ballroom. Mansionair, a trio from Sydney, Australia, gave the audience an entertaining opening before the main act.
Mansionair’s sound was built from the drums up. Each song they performed heavily featured drums, with the next layer being electronic and guitar.
Overall, it made for a nice combination of rock and synth-pop. Their songs ranged from calm and meandering, teasing a drop or change of pace that never came, to beats that had the crowd (or at least the people right in front of me) dancing along.
After a long wait, Chvrches finally came on stage to much applause from the crowd.
From the moment the intro of “Never Ending Circles” began, lead singer Lauren Mayberry’s energy was sky high.
She was running from side to side on stage and hopping on the front speakers so that, as she explained, the people in the back would be able to see her clearly.
In between her lyrical responsibilities, Lauren danced and threw her hair about, maintaining a high-energy stage presence.
The band did a good job of bouncing between their two albums, never staying too long with either one.
When the band began “Tether,” the crowd was ecstatic. It provided a nice change of pace from the speed of the previous songs, allowing the crowd a moment to catch their breath and simply sway along, albeit with the knowledge that halfway through the song things were going to pick right back up.
Lauren’s band mates, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty, did a wonderful job delivering their fervent background lyrics during “Science/Visions.”
The transition from intro to first verse of “Playing Dead” was accompanied with dazzling lights that brought the crowd back to their energetic dance-along state.
Thankfully, Chvrches elected to perform “Under the Tide,” a song from their first album that finds Martin and Lauren switching roles.
Martin did a phenomenal job with lead vocals. Similar to Lauren, he was bouncing all around the stage, gesticulating wildly along with the lyrics.
It was evident how much energy and emotion Martin was putting into each and every verse.
Chvrches continued with “Bury it,” “Recover” and “Leave a Trace.” They closed out their performance with “Clearest Blue,” a clean and vibrant song whose buildup leaves the listener in suspense before delivering a satisfying change in beat.
After minutes of applause, the band obliged and reentered the stage. They performed one surprising selection, followed by one that everyone expected and hoped for.
The first was “Afterglow,” a slow, piercing song with Lauren’s high voice as the focal point with a mere handful of synthesizer notes accompanying it.
It was unexpected because of how starkly contrasting this song is from the rest of the relentlessly upbeat, head-bopping songs of the second album.
“Afterglow” was such a great choice: it served as a calming comedown from the constant peaks of the rest of the show, giving the crowd a parachute trip down instead of a straight free-fall from the high energy of the concert.
Right when the crowd was lulled, the trio pulled out “The Mother We Share,” the song that put them on the map, throwing everyone right back into an energetic frenzy to close out the night.