CHVRCHES Takes on the Aragon Ballroom

Article and Photo by: Claire Oliver

In the stunning Aragon Ballroom, hundreds of older Gen Z-ers and Millennials stream in. Most holding some kind of drink. They leave enough room for people to weave in and out of the crowd. My friend and I have no trouble grabbing a spot a bit further back in the pit. Despite the size of the crowd, we have plenty of room to dance. This fun and uplifting vibe of the crowd perfectly represents the kind of show CHVRCHES is about to put on. 

While waiting for CHVRCHES to begin, Donna Missal opens the show. Even without knowing any of her music, I enjoy her sensual indie pop performance. Her high energy is perfect for getting the crowd excited for the main act. 

CHVRCHES immediately captivates the crowd. Their entrancing backdrop visuals add an extra layer to their set that keeps the crowd even more engaged. The lead singer, Lauren Mayberry, matches this energy with her one-of-a-kind voice, which is just as crisp and high quality as it sounds on the recorded albums. Not only is her singing voice amazing, but so is her speaking voice. I was held rapt by the melodic Scottish accents of Lauren and her bandmates. Despite her clear talent, she remains humble when expressing how she is finally able to hold “the long notes” on this album, unlike their past ones. Mayberry’s character shows once again when she stops the show for several minutes to check on a fan in the front row. She paused long enough for the fan to get proper care before continuing with the set, which solidified the good energy and made the crowd feel even safer.  

CHVRCHES music and performance match the lovely personality of their lead singer. Unfortunately, Iain Cook had to sit the show out due to a positive COVID test. Dave Simpson, the tour tech, filled in seamlessly. By performing a mix of songs from their old albums and newest release, they managed to engage everyone in the audience. As someone who listened to CHVRCHES extensively through middle school, I could feel my thirteen-year-old self jumping with excitement when the song “Mother We Share” began to play during the encore. 

Mayberry expressed her excitement to be on tour again and to see new and familiar faces in the crowd. This excitement was evident in the way she and the rest of the band maintained a consistent, high energy throughout their entire set. Accompanied with the high-quality music and entertaining visuals were Mayberry’s several costume changes, which ranged from a white long sleeve dress to a black leather-like outfit, and finishing with a simple T-shirt and jean shorts. 

CHVRCHES performance had the production quality and over-the-top performance aspects of an arena tour yet maintained the intimacy that the Aragon Ballroom provides. Mayberry thanked the audience for spending our Friday night at their show, but I would like to thank CHVRCHES for gracing us with their unmatched talent.

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