Last Friday, December 3rd, CHVRCHES put on the biggest (or perhaps just best) post-quarantine spectacle the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection has seen yet. The Scottish synth-poppers packed Franklin Music Hall to at least capacity with a surprising mix of matured mall goths and young suburban couples, who fought their way for leverage and sightlines in the warehouse space like they were at a summer festival throughout the band’s nearly hour-and-a-half set, which featured a shed-sized video screen lighting the cavernous room, while frontwoman Lauren Mayberry conducted the crowd in the vein of some combination of Dave Gahan and Shirley Manson.
CHVRCHES are currently on the road supporting their fourth (and best) full-length, Screen Violence, which dropped this August. The 17-song setlist included much of the album, but also featured a plethora of fan-favorites, most notably 2018’s “Miracle” and 2015’s “Clearest Blue,” which closed the evening. And while the set lacked any significant lulls, the highlight of the performance actually came from the evening’s first three songs. Mayberry took the stage to recent single and whimsically electronic anti-mansplaining rallying cry, “He Said She Said,” followed by 2018’s somehow-not-a-dance-club-anthem (and likely their very best song), “Forever,” and 2015’s “Leave a Trace,” which sounds (and looked) a bit like Sleigh Bells having their way with a Siouxsie and the Banshees number.