CHVRCHES at Buckhead Theatre on October 8

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You know you love a band when you have only three songs in the pit to get photos you need for an article, yet you’re still barely able to control yourself from dancing and jumping in front of the stage. I say barely…when the lights would cut out completely for a couple of seconds during CHVRCHES on Wednesday, and I knew I couldn’t shoot, I was definitely not holding still. I honestly don’t even remember what those songs were. I was too caught up in the moment.

I do remember, however, that “Gun” was the fourth song, which was playing as we photographers were being escorted out of the venue. It was then that I realized just how packed the sold-out Buckhead Theatre had gotten, and was able to see the obvious ecstasy and excitement on the faces of so many adoring fans. Lauren Mayberry is a hard one not to fall for.

I am told I missed a beautiful sky-like backdrop for “Night Sky,” but by the time I had dropped my camera in the car and gotten back into the venue, they were well into “Strong Hand,” followed quickly by “Science and Visions” and “Recover,” an epic breakup anthem which was apparently a favorite of many in the room, as the crowd found themselves clapping in unison and singing (screaming?) along, totally enthralled.

Mayberry took a moment to address the audience before moving into the slower paced “Tether,” which seemed to bring a more romantic mood to the room. The lights were dimmed and less spastic, and there was more swaying and less jumping…until the breakdown, when “the sun” came out, not only with the frenetic display of white lights, but also more literally in the form of the lyrics sung in Iain Cook’s backing vocal chant.

Martin Doherty then took center stage for “Under the Tide,” as Mayberry stepped aside to handle his synthesizer. Proving he’s quite the frontman in his own right, Doherty used the whole stage and seemingly the entirety of his energy and emotion to deliver the words that I would have to assume he penned. While I must admit Mayberry’s enchanting vocals are a huge part of my love for CHVRCHES, I might make the argument that Doherty has a more impressive – at least more energetic – stage presence.

The not-so-last song of the night was, appropriately, their epic first single, “The Mother We Share,” but it wasn’t long before the trio was back on stage for an encore starting with Doherty taking lead vocals again on ballad “You Caught the Light,” before they moved into a promising new song entitled “Richard Pryor,” and closing out the evening in earnest with “By the Throat.”

To be honest, I debated even attending this show, citing that I had already seen them perform the same set of material earlier this year. My point being, the next time you think you’ve seen something once, and that’s all you need, you might want to reconsider that thought.  I’m glad I did.

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Michelle King is the executive manager and director of publicity at Noisy Ghost PR, based out of the Graveface Records headquarters in Savannah, GA. You can also find her blogging at She Turns the Tables, contributing music content at Posture Magazine, and obsessively streaming music on Spotify.

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