Gig Review: CHVRCHES | Margaret Court Arena | Melbourne | 23.7.18

Wednesday, July 25, 2018
(Photo - Kristy Smolcic)

Melbourne has been the place to be during the past week, with an array of Splendour in the Grass sideshows appearing all over town — Monday night was CHVRCHES’ turn to impress. The lead-up to their show was chaotic and stressful for the trio and all involved in bringing the show to life — due to transport complications that were out of their control, they made their way onto the stage at approximately 10pm and Wafia had to withdraw from her support slot. To make matters a tad bit more difficult, concert-goers had to endure wild weather (including crazy winds and rain) on their way to the show.

Despite the craziness the lead-up had to offer, the crowd were still ready and pumped to see what the trio had in-store. They kicked their performance off with ‘Get Out’, which was entrancing in the best possible way. The captivating and hypnotic electronic soundscapes translated beautifully in a live atmosphere.

The tight timeframe for their performance meant that there was little time for any on-stage banter, and that was perfectly okay — to perform under such stressful and trialling conditions is tough enough.

Bursting with energy, ‘Never Ending Circles’ filled the arena with the awe-inspiring sounds of Lauren Mayberry’s vocals. After their performance of ‘Never Ending Circles’, Martin Doherty let his vocals shine with ‘God's Plan’ and ‘Under The Tide’, which brought a new but welcomed energy to the night.

Before leaving the stage, they played ‘Leave a Trace’ and ‘Clearest Blue’. After a mini-break, they returned to the stage with to close out with ‘The Mother We Share’ and ‘Never Say Die’.

Spanning fifteen tracks, their set felt short — normally, it would be expected that a headline act would play more songs during their sets — perhaps the transport problems are the primary cause of this. Throughout the night, the trio also had a series of technical issues with their sound, which caused the mood and energy in the room to dissipate. There was a feeling in the air that felt empty over the course of their set, and this overall had an effect on their set.

Unfortunately, due to reasons that they can’t be blamed for, it wasn’t CHVRCHES’ night — despite the issues they encountered, they persevered to perform to the best of their abilities and still impressed their adoring fans with what they could offer.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)
Photography by Kristy Smolcic