Chvrches :: Crystal Ballroom :: 04.10.14
I'm not sure that crowd response is the only way to measure a band's popularity, but lets assume for a minute that it's a decently valid one. If so, then I've got some news for you. Move over Lorde. Move over Bastille. You know who Portland really loves? Chvrches. And nowhere was that more apparent than at the Crystal Ballroom on Thursday night.
Portland's latest 94/7-sponsored show kicked off with a head-banging, floor-rattling opening set by local band Summer Cannibals, making their first appearance at the Crystal Ballroom. The band has a sleeker, more polished sound than they did at their MusicFest NW appearance last summer, although frontwoman Jessica Boudreaux proved that the band is still pretty rock n roll, jamming out on "Take Me Out" and knocking over part of her drummers kit with her guitar at the end of their set.
While the crowd had been enthusiastic during the opening set, once Chvrches came on stage, the screaming and cheering started in earnest... and didn't really let up until the band left the stage at the end of the night.
The Scottish synth-pop act has come a long way since they first played the Wonder Ballroom a year ago. Kicking off their most recent US tour at the Crystal, the band played a finely honed and nearly flawless set, taking breaks between hits like "Gun" and "Recover" to joke about being dissed by Linkin Park and the fact that only Portlanders scream at their gigs.
While band has definitely grown into their newfound stardom, there may be a downside to fame - after a year of relentless touring, the band seems a little tired, and they've traded some of their neophyte enthusiasm for deft professionalism (which is not a bad trade, mind you). The crowd didn't seem to mind the trade-off, though - giving the band a riotous send off on their way to Coachella and further cementing their place in Portland's music pantheon.