I love Churches.
Hold on. No.
Let me clarify: I love Chvrches.
They are a Scottish synth pop band — not a place of spiritual worship.
They are the kind of musical talent that makes me pity my poor friends who don’t consider music made without guitars and drums music.
Perhaps they will one day awake from their 1970s dad rock daydreams and join the technological revolution. (SLAM!) A lot has happened since disco (and disco wasn’t all bad).
Chvrches played Sokol Auditorium in Omaha recently. Going in, I didn’t know what to expect. It’s a large gymnasium, and it was a Wednesday night.
When I came through the doors, I was greeted by the warm bells of The Cure’s “Plainsong” just before its keyboards swelled. (“Sometimes you make me feel like I’m living at the edge of the world/Like I’m living at the edge of the world/”It’s just the way I smile,” you said.) It’s not often that I get to hear “Disintegration” tracks played over a large speaker system. Before the show started, “Pictures of You” and “Fascination Street” were also played. That’s a good place to start any evening.
I’ve watched and read so many interviews with the members of Chvrches — (Lauren Mayberry (lead vocals, additional synthesisers, and samplers), Iain Cook (synthesisers, guitar, bass, vocals) and Martin Doherty — that they seem like old friends. They seem like very modest, grateful people who discovered that, together, they could make something unique and beautiful.
By the time Chvrches came on stage, the auditorium was nearly full. The crowd was very energetic and enthusiastic. I had no idea Omaha was home to such a solid base of synth pop fans who are willing to bring their “A” game on a Wednesday night.
For such a young band, Chvrches have developed a really good light show to accompany their performance.
A highlight was when lead singer Lauren Mayberry talked about how obsessed she was with Saddle Creek Records while growing up and how cool it was to finally visit Omaha. Unfortunately, my friend and I could only make out about half of what she said through her thick Scottish accent and the acoustics of the venue.
As they played, I became much more aware of The Cure influence on Chvrches’ sound than I had been listening to the record “The Bones of What You Believe.” It’s always interesting how new aspects of a band can emerge in a live setting.
All in all, it was a fun night. I was glad to be able to catch the band in a more intimate venue before seeing them at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in a couple weeks. (Oh yes, I am returning to that hallowed ground …)
Here is some video I caught of Chvrches: