THE American rock band PVRIS – which is pronounced Paris – are currently taking the UK by storm on their current tour. Last night saw them take to Manchester Academy, Quays News entertainment reporter Beth Halfpenny went along…
The Massachusetts three-piece consists of Lyndsey Gunnulfsen, Brian MacDonald and Alex Babinski, upon originally forming as Paris in 2013, regarding legal reasons; they changed their name to PVRIS. The band’s sound is a well thought out mix of alternative pop rock and dance, bringing bands like Paramore but also Chvrches to mind.
During the tour the band have been accompanied by three other bands; K.Flay, Bones and Alvarez Kings. Bones and Alvarez Kings have each played a selected amount of dates on the tour with Alvarez Kings making an appearance in Manchester, where they played Manchester Academy one.
Alvarez Kings are the first band to tackle the already significantly full room that can hold over 2,000 people.
They took to the stage in an interesting way. The background music turns off and in it’s place you hear ‘The Doors – My Wild Love’ begin to play, the loud single drum beats make the crowd tense, heightening the anticipation for the band to come on stage and perform.
The band themselves categorise their music as “Progressive Indie Pop”. It’s hard to really stick them into one genre, as like PVRIS they easily cross over a few. Because of this similarity the crowd, from what it looks and sounds like, really enjoyed this band. They are more than happy to clap, wave their arms and get their phones out on request in need of a short acoustic part of the set. It’s nice to see a support act change things up a bit with this acoustic part as it seems most others will just see the change of instruments as too much wasted time.
The dance-influenced songs also contain strong drumbeats and smooth lyrics throughout – “A gentle smile, a subtle kiss, for what it’s worth I’ve always missed…”
It is apparent that the band has thought about everything. Throughout the entirety of their set everything flows so smoothly. It is clear that given enough time this band could easily headline Academy One on their own headline tour.
The next support is the American alternative artist K.Flay. Her performance holds a much faster pace then Alvarez Kings. It sometimes feels like the songs contain undertones of an almost dubstep influence.
The artist herself found a wave of recognition for her music following the release of her debut album ‘Life As A Dog’. Since then she has played with the likes of Snoop Dogg and Passion Pit as well as making an appearance at Vans Warped tour in 2014.
During the set there seemed to be a few issues with the sound going off or being too loud to hear the vocalist. However, she continued to get a reaction from the crowd and a round of applause when thanked by PVRIS for being on the tour with them.
@kflay you killed it at Manchester acadamy last night I enjoyed watching you perform for the first time?
— Agnooit (@Agnooit89) April 7, 2016
— Sarah (@sarah_fearns) April 6, 2016
By the time PVRIS come on at 9.30PM the crowd were obviously more than prepared. As they begin to play everyone starts dancing and singing along, a lot of people even get on friends shoulders. The atmosphere in the room is instantaneously filled with excitement from fans that know every lyric.
The band plays a bunch of songs off their debut album ‘White Noise’, which was released in June of 2014. As well as popular song off their acoustic album – ‘Only Love’.
An acoustic version of popular song, ‘Ghost’ followed in the middle of the set – the song gave the crowd a chance to breath after their constant moving.
Overall the band play a 10 song set with an added two songs for their encore. These two songs are ‘You and I’ and arguably most popular song, ‘My House’ to finish the night.
Every song is a popular one though, hence the touring of an album so long after its release. ‘White Noise’ itself was an amazing debut for the band that has set their first few years together and tours off with a bang. It will be interesting to see their style grow and how the next album blooms on from this one.
It’s not just the jam-packed set-list that is mind blowing about this night though. With them, PVRIS have an extensive amount of lighting and backgrounds that have been individually thought about for each song. The background is predominantly the mirror found on their debut album cover. However, it changes from song to song going from things like a smashed mirror, to portraits and then during song “Fire” a vibrant red circle which stands out against the bright white lighting placed around the band in stain-glass window style patterns.
It’s great to see one of the fewer female fronted bands rise to this much success in the time that PVRIS have; pulling fans from a wide age range to this show with what looks like an even mix of both male and female fans.
Gunnulfsen herself moves from one end of the stage to the other throughout the show, clearly ecstatic to perform to the massive crowd in front of her. After the majority of songs she says “thank you” to the crowd; appreciating that they are the reason PVRIS have got to where they are today.
With the lighting arrangements on top of this the band put on an overall fantastic performance that can be enjoyed right at the front or at the very back of the huge Academy room.
— LANEGŌØN (@LYNNGVNN) April 6, 2016
You could easily attend a PVRIS show never having heard of them before but leaving a fan after hearing the power of Gunnulfsen’s voice paired with the uniqueness of PVRIS overall sound. You don’t need to know the lyrics to these songs to enjoy yourself while listening to them.
By Bethany Halfpenny