PVRIS performs My House live at Reading and Leeds in 2019
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PVRIS have always been a little between genres, so, while entering the hallowed halls of the Eventim Apollo, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the American alt/dark-pop band. On top of that, the group haven’t played in the UK for a few years, so a comeback in one of London’s most prestigious venues surely piled on the pressure. But, watching frontwoman Lyndsey Gunnulfsen absolutely command their set, you’d never notice any hesitation if there was any.
READ MORE: PVRIS – ‘I’d rather risk alienating people than phone it in’
Kicking things off with their new single, Animal, PVRIS showed they can still release new hits that create a lasting buzz within fandom. Queen bee Lyndsey explored her vocal range within the first few moments of being on stage, just to show that she is not all studio production.
But, it is certainly hard to ignore their pedigree, as well. Some of their older tracks – You and I, What’s Wrong, et al – were unmatched across the evening. Even through some venue-caused disturbances, Lyndsey delivered such memorable and powerful renditions of these older tracks that could only be accomplished with years of experience and reiteration.
It’s hard to overstate how exceptional Lyndsey was throughout. A real talent – but not without nuance.
Like a sonic Jekyll and Hyde, Lyndsey morphed before my eyes into a beast as each song hit its crescendo. She dominated the stage, prowling its edges and preaching to her crowd as if they were blessed to be there. A real rockstar performance.
Every PVRIS song was delivered with overwhelmingly powerful switchblade vocals and a seemingly endless sense of style. Gimme a Minute and What’s Wrong were particular standouts in the set and sent fans into a fervour in the process.
But it wasn’t all bravado. Between tracks, Lyndsey chatted with the crowd in a completely different role. Softly spoken. Unassuming. The modest Clark Kent to her PVRIS persona.
This ability to shape-shift bled into PVRIS’ softer hits, as well. Tracks such as My Way allowed Lyndsey’s quieter alter ego to peek through, showing off some of her vulnerability and giving real depth to her performance.
Ultimately, Lyndsey delivered a masterclass in knowing the band’s songs and being able to access every part of them, emotionally, and expressively.
Dancing between Lyndsey’s stunning performance was a gorgeously designed set. A cacophony of glitzy lasers, palm trees, and boxed-up musicians built a voyeuristic, museum-esque display for fans to soak up. A ticket to peer into the mind palace of PVRIS and how they’re presenting their art to you.
This amalgamation of mystique allowed the band to ascend to another level, pushing them past the ranks of “just another alt/rock band”. This was a performance from a group of artists that had a vision and knew how to execute it.
For me, PVRIS have quickly become a band that I can not afford to miss the next time they’re in town – and neither can you.
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