Live Review: CHVRCHES - Screen Violence North American Tour 2021 - Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom Chicago
Writing and Photography by Bobby Talamine
The band Chvrches, fronted by their charismatic lead singer Lauren Mayberry, came through town on a Friday night at the Aragon Ballroom, still hungry to maintaining the claim of being a great and memorable live band.
Touring on the strengths of their intense fourth release- "Screen Violence", they rushed out of the gate with the song "He Said She Said" from their new album, a song like most from "Screen Violence", which has a dark edge and vivid imagery, with a sledge hammer groove.
The stage and backdrop are bathed in icy colors throughout the show, with distortion and vivid hues coming from their gigantic LED backdrop.
Lauren Mayberry commanded the stage from beginning to end, having now contemplated and convincingly becoming a seasoned performer, pacing herself from stage right to stage left and looking gorgeous / model like, but with a take no prisoners persona with a dark side.
And off we go from there, into "Forever", and then into "Leave a Trace", followed by "California".
Most of the set is spotlighted by songs from "Screen Violence", and embracing the theme of dark and twisted personas and fem fatales,
Unfortunately though, a day before their stop at the Aragon Ballroom, Chvrches made an announcement that despite following strict COVID safety protocols, Lain Cook, their keyboards and programming guru, had a positive COVID test result and was unable to perform in Chicago,
They had Lain's spot filled in by their tour tech Dave Simpson, who has worked extensively with the band for many years, along with the addition of their friend Sam Stewart, from the band Lo Moon.
So the band was filled out rather nicely, adding more oomph into the mix to convey the low underbelly of most of their recent songs from "Screen Violence".
Chvrches now, in the present day, a band with tons of passion in regards to live performance, full of fighting spirit, cutting through the noise of the mundane, and making a presence felt and known throughout this Friday night as a band that can pack a wallop, a band that will have you leaving with a vision ingrained in your head, that they just keep getting better and better, and are observant of the world's current claustrophobic state of affairs, and have the songwriting chops to back it up.
Bobby Talamine - JBTV Music Television Chicago