CHVRCHES Questions Boston’s Drinking Habits at Boston Calling 2019

Photography by Lizzie Heintz

By Bobby Nicholas III

I was lucky enough to be able to see both of CHVRCHES' shows when they came to the Orpheum Theatre last October when they ended the initial run of their Love Is Dead tour. So when I heard they were coming to Boston Calling, I knew I had to be right at the front.

Waiting for over an hour at the stage’s barricade in the chilly Boston breeze, I was pumped up and ready when the lights went our.

The stage turned blue, and a deep bass resonated throughout every part of my body. The band came out, Lauren Mayberry took center stage, and WERS favorite “Get Out” kicked in. Led by Mayberry, the entire crowd was clapping with the opening riff.
Janelle Monáe was supposed to be performing at Boston Calling, but cancelled due to a scheduling conflict. This is what brought CHVRCHES back to Boston, and they gave a nod to Monáe by saying that “we’re not half as f***ing cool as” her.

Throughout the times I’ve seen CHVRCHES in Boston, Mayberry always references in some way how us Bostonians drink a lot.

Tonight, as she drank her tea, she proclaimed “it should be illegal to drink tea on a Friday night in Boston.” I mean, she’s not completely wrong. I didn’t have much time to think about it before they kicked right into “Graffiti” off of their latest album. She has much love for Boston, however, when she proclaimed later in the night that ”Boston is a great place for shows!”

Perhaps my favorite thing about seeing CHVRCHES perform is the stage banter between songs.

They joke around with the crowd and with each other, and Mayberry often tells us things she’s learned. Tonight she gave us two tips: to not wash hair daily and “if [someone seems] like a c**t, they probably are a c**t.” And the crowd loved it.
Speaking of the crowd, we were grooving throughout the whole set. When the bass dropped in “Miracle,” I could actually feel the ground move an inch or so.

They brought it back a bit with "Science/Visions” off of their debut album The Bones Of What You Believe.

Martin Doherty came out from behind his synthesizer and keyboard setup and thrashed on guitar along with Mayberry on stage.
Mayberry took some time before their final song to wish their sound engineer, Paul, a happy birthday. With that, they launched into “Never Say Die.” The show ended as quickly as it began, with Mayberry spinning all over the stage and leading the crowd in chanting “Didn’t you say that? Didn’t you say that?”

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