We arrived at The Novo before the doors opened and I noticed a line stretching
around the block from the venue. They are all here to see PVRIS, the sensational band from Lowell, Massachusetts. Working quickly, the venue passed people through security and slowly began to fill up the balcony and front of the stage. By the time the opening act got on stage, which was a little after 8 PM, the front of the stage was packed.
Opening the night was the alt-pop singer Party Nails, based out of LA but originally from New York. With her pink hair, overalls, sweet personality and early Madonna-esque voice, she had the audience dancing and singing along to her catchy lyrics. She stopped to introduce her band, made up of bassist Jordan, the birthday girl and Garrett, her drummer, who bought a glitter drum set just for this tour. While playing her song “Outside of Heaven” she danced around with flowers, handing them out to the front of the crowd and when she ran out, picked up her set list and handed it to an eager audience member. With all her enthusiasm and sweetness, it was a great way to start the night. As they left the stage, the audience began to sing happy birthday for a smiling band.
Next up was Canadian artist, Lights, whose new album Skin and Earth had just released that day. The band came out first, setting a dark and moody tone with the intro from her latest album, which changed into a beat, you want to move your body to and the opening song called “Sky Diving”. Lights, with her fiery red hair, wore a yellow hoodie made out of rain jacket material, giving off sexy “IT” vibes as she danced around the stage and sang. For her first time back touring after a two-year hiatus, the passion and love for her music showed. While her album is incredible, her stage presence and added rock n’ roll vibes to her songs make the live performance so much greater and her live vocals outshine any recording. Her interactions with the crowd were great as she thanked everyone for coming so early to hear her and her band. Working her way through new songs such as “New Fears” and Moonshine”, she got the crowd going with her song “Up We Go,” as they sang
Finally, the moment had come for PVRIS. They slowly lifted the sheet covering the band’s setup, the crowd cheering in response, and then we waited while they set up the rest of the set, which was definitely worth it. Their setup consisted of three screen panels, reminiscent of Kubrick’s Monolith from “2001: A Space Odyssey”, lots of lights, smoke machines, two drum sets, a keyboard, synths – they had it all. Lights dim and a low hum echoes as a person speaking words I can’t really make out plays in the background. The band walks up, the crowd screams loudly, and they break out into their song “Heaven,” with Lynn on the keyboard. Sadly, her microphone was too low so no one could hear her in the back while the synths were turned up so loudly, they drowned out the rest of the band. Not fazed, Lynn continued through their songs, getting the audience to jump, clap and sing along. Her ability to switch from instrument to instrument was astounding as she played keyboard, guitar, and drums. One of the best moments was when Lynn and the drummer played at the same time (hence the two drum sets). The panels and lights added a great ambiance to their music as they showed smoke during their song “Smoke” and with red lights and fiery images during their song “Fire”. During their song, “You and I,” Lynn got down off the stage and joined the audience in the front.
With Lynn’s soulful voice and in sync swaying with bandmates Alex Babinski and Brian MacDonald, PVRIS has a show that is stadium-worthy. With a sold-out show and more tour dates to come, this tour will be a continued success as they travel next to San Diego on September 25th and then onto Phoenix on the 26th. With stellar performances by all of the bands, this tour is a guaranteed hit. The atmosphere of the live performances really makes the music come to life. Seriously… buy a ticket.
Photos: Jason Walton
You and I