CHVRCHES at Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA, September 18, 2013 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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CHVRCHES at Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA, September 18, 2013, September 18th, 2013

Oct 04, 2013 Web Exclusive
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It has been only a little over a year since Glaswegian trio CHVRCHES posted its first song online. Now, with consistent touring and seemingly endless coverage in magazines and blogs, the trio of Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook, and Martin Doherty has developed quite a following. Case in point: Wednesday, September 18 in Philadelphia. It’s not surprising that people have flocked to CHVRCHES, given how catchy and pop-tastic the band’s recently released, The Bones of What You Believe, is. What is surprising is that the band drew a packed house at Philadelphia’s spacious Union Transfer, nearly selling the place out with more than 1,100 people in attendance before their album was even released. I’ll say that again. The Bones of What You Believe was not out for another week when CHVRCHES played to a packed house of pogoing Philly youth, and in the middle of the week no less. CHVRCHES is a phenomenon, and things seem like they might just get bigger.

For an hour on this night, the band played the majority of The Bones of What You Believe, imitating the album spectacularly and thrilling the crowd with the light-up podiums for Cook and Doherty, flanked Mayberry, who sang in transfixing, beautiful voice all night.

The crowd jumped ecstatically with hands in the air to “Gun.” Mayberry preceded “Night Sky,” strangely, with an extended monologue about possums. The strobing green light that accompanied “Science/Visions” only added to the evening’s ambiance. And by the sing-along version of “Recover,” a song that received the biggest cheer of the evening, it was apparent that this band could lead the more than 1,100 in attendance over a cliff lemming-style if they chose. “Tether” sounded live like an electro version of ‘80s hit “True Colors,” and even the Doherty-sung “Under the Tide,” received a greater response than it did the last time the band played Philadelphia.

Before the final song of the set proper, the standout “The Mother We Share,” Mayberry told the crowd, “That was pretty much it.” The band did return for an encore, at which point someone in the crowd requested Madonna. Mayberry said that she regretted not having worked up any Madonna with the band and instead went into their last song, “By the Throat.” Perhaps not coincidentally, however, in an evening that brilliantly recalled the ‘80s with unabashed flair, the band’s final song pulsed and throbbed, not at all unlike “Like a Prayer.”


Set List

We Sink



Now Is Not the Time


Night Sky

Strong Hand




Under the Tide

The Mother We Share


By the Throat


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