Review: Chvrches – Margaret Court Arena 23 July, 2018

The Scottish electro-pop supergroup Chvrches took to the stage on a blustery, wet Melbourne Monday night after enduring a truck breakdown and super quick bump in to deliver a pumping, if truncated, set to their fans. A broad mix of old hits and new tracks culminating in a set that felt like it ended just as they were settling into it and left us all desperate for more. 

I’ll talk less so we can play more songs..‘ front woman Lauren Mayberry lamented early on in the set as the band suffered from their touring set breaking down on the way from Sydney and thus causing their start time to be pushed back by nearly an hour. This meant that, with a looming 11pm curfew and them walking on stage at just on 10pm, the Scottish wunderkinds had about an hour to deliver their set. And deliver it they did, but there was definitely an air of production line efficiency about it. A set sorely missing Mayberry’s sparkling personality that have become trademark of their live gigs. They simply didn’t have the time.

The set list traversed tracks such as Graffiti, Get Out, God’s Plan, Leave A Trace, Never Ending Circles, The Mother We Share, Bury It, and showstopper Clearest Blue, all the big hits were in play.

Having seen Chvrches play the forum a few years ago in support of their stellar Every Open Eye album, Margaret Court Arena might’ve held a bigger audience on their ever expanding fan base but the venue… Is it the right place for them? The sound mixing on them was more in the ‘turn everything up’ than trying to balance out the sounds which resulted in Mayberry’s vocals being lost to the noise bouncing thunder of all the instruments coming at you at once. The venue itself doesn’t lend itself to music performance very well, sound just bounces all over the place, and it’s by the endearing grace of the band themselves that all was forgiven.

Chvrches are a band hitting their peak and their pumping live set attests to it. It’s just such a shame that, due to the nature of things, we didn’t get to see the full set even though they did their darndest to cram everything in.