Lauren Mayberry. Photo by Benjamin Robson
Lauren Mayberry. Photo by Benjamin Robson

In front of a sell-out crowd Wednesday night, Scottish synth-pop trio CHVRCHES slowly emerged from the darkness. White lights glimmered as symphonic tunes graced the sound waves sending chills down the audience’s spine. The Fillmore Charlotte crowd drowned in the alluring melody as Glaswegian front-woman Lauren Mayberry appeared, shocking the crowd back to life from a nearly mesmeric state.

An array of oranges, reds and pinks flashed before the audience’s eyes as CHVRCHES opened their highly anticipated performance with the introductory track “Never Ending Circles” from their sophomore album “Every Open Eye.”

Iain Cook. Photo by Benjamin Robson
Iain Cook. Photo by Benjamin Robson

The European threesome consisting of Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty peeked out into the musical spotlight in 2013 with their auspicious demo “Lies” before kicking down the door with their single “The Mother We Share.” Their debut LP The Bones Of What You Believe shortly followed and surged to the top of the charts.

Returning to the Queen City, CHVRCHES made it known that they’re not afraid to wear their heart on their sleeve. Their sincere and heartfelt lyrics resonate with their listeners and Mayberry’s expressive performance did just that.

The gold lighting effects illuminated the room and the gold strobe lights reflected off the rotating disco ball suspended from the ceiling. Mayberry’s sequins glistened in the gold ambience. The crowd belted the lyrics to recent release, “Make Them Gold.” The lyrics become dictations when they’re heard straight from Mayberry. The passion was exemplified when she sang, “We will take the best parts of ourselves and make them gold.”

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Martin Doherty. Photo by Benjamin Robson

The optimistic, cheery performance led them into an upbeat, melancholy presentation of hit track “Empty Threat.” The sapphire colored lights gleamed a bit less. Mayberry stood motionless, grasping the microphone with two hands as she peered out into the audience. Band members Cook and Doherty bobbed up and down behind her, flawlessly hitting the synth-chords as Mayberry continued the emotional rendition of the gloomy track.

It’s safe to say that over the years Mayberry has mastered her craft of entertaining and amusing the crowd effortlessly. When she wasn’t performing, her soft, lovable voice seized the audience’s attention as she chit-chatted, sharing her recent discovery of the true meaning of “Netflix and chill” and hinted at her upcoming Halloween costume.

Lauren Mayberry. Photo by Benjamin Robson
Lauren Mayberry. Photo by Benjamin Robson

“I have a plan for what I want to do but these guys are like, we’re old sensible synth-lords,” Mayberry said. “It’s a life goal of mine to do this particular costume. I’m excited. People ask why do you get so into it? Life is short and full of lots sad shit so you might as well dress up as stuff.”

It was gratifying as Mayberry and CHVRCHES connected with their admirers on not only a musical level but on a personal level as well.

The crowd cheered as CHVRCHES moved into what they claimed was they final song of the night, “Clearest Blue.” The audience clapped along knowing that the unforgettable night was coming to an end. The Glaswegian threesome bowed out behind the turquoise-colored illumination before reemerging to hammer home their grand-finale.

CHVRCHES. Photo by Benjamin Robson
CHVRCHES. Photo by Benjamin Robson

The audience’s applause and ovation could be heard on North Graham Street as CHVRCHES’ light spectacle and incredible music performance came to an end with the performance of the song that carried them into the limelight, “The Mother We Share.”

The crowd worshipped the Glaswegian icons even after the overheads turned on. CHVRCHES’ raw-emotion behind the melodious synth-pop beats puts them in a class of their own and like the rock stars they are, the show ended with a bang.


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Jared Allen is the Sports Editor for the Niner Times. He has been involved with the newspaper since August 2014. In addition to being a part of the Niner Times, he hosts "The 91st Minute Radio" and calls play-by-play for the Charlotte 49ers men's and women's soccer teams on Radio Free Charlotte. Aside from being a sports (predominantly soccer) fanatic, he enjoys blogging, traveling and occasional backpacking. You can contact him at sports@ninertimes.com

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