The flurries coming down as I walked from my car to The Armory were almost peaceful. Sure, it was cold, but it made getting into the Armory feel cozy and like a second home. I was surprised at the lack of line as I walked up to the main doors but appreciated not having to be stuck in the cold for any longer than I had to. There were signs plastered throughout the security line stating that masks are mandatory throughout the show. Seeing these signs had me feeling optimistic. Although I find myself in packed venues on an almost nightly basis. Hearing of the surge in covid numbers lately has me a bit worried so I was glad to see that the headliner was taking things seriously. Sadly, these signs were all but ignored and I noticed that as soon as people went through security and got their tickets scanned, the masks came off and it was like everything was normal. But I digress. You aren’t here to listen to me on my soapbox about how the lack of mask-wearing at shows lately has me broken-hearted. You’re here to hear about the show so let’s get into it!
Donna Missal was the sole opener on the show and took the stage promptly at 7:30. She wasted no time jumping into a set that was equal parts beautiful and energizing. Although her music was a bit more electronic-based than I tend to go, there was something bout watching her on stage that had me completely captivated. Even though when she spoke to the audience she seemed a bit shy and unsure, when she sang it was pure power. With a goosebump-inducing range, Donna’s vocals are absolutely something that just needs to be heard. I’m sure that incredible range and talent is the main reason she got to be the sole opener on this tour. I was a bit surprised when she mentioned that this was her first tour ever but it made sense. Her music really complimented that of the headliner while giving the audience a chance to warm up.
Although Donna did seem a bit unsure when trying to banter with the audience, there were a few moments where her personality was able to shine as bright as her music. After introducing herself, she let the crowd know that “I have, um, coasters?” Such a small moment in a truly powerful set but this statement had the audience laughing with her and her bandmates. It was just such a cute and innocent statement. Although Donna’s set was fairly short, she packed a punch with the time she was given and a lot of the chatter following her set was about, well, her. Donna Missal’s name may not be a household name quite yet but she will be there before she knows it and I can’t wait to see that happen for such a deserving musician.
Although I enjoy their music and the overall vibe of their sound, I’d be lying if I said I truly followed Chvrches’ music or even knew a single song title but, as soon as they jumped into their seventeen song set, I realized I knew more tracks than I thought. As mentioned, Chvrches’ sound is super distinct. Sure, it’s that standard indietronica vibe that seems to be all the rage these days but there’s something different about them. Vocalist Lauren Mayberry has an incredible set of pipes on her and she doesn’t hold back when performing live. Between her vocals and the power of the rest of the band all mixed with the incredible and bright visuals happening behind them on a giant screen, Chvrches’ set is absolutely captivating. Whether you like their music or not, their ability to catch you in the palm of their hands within the first song and not even hint at releasing you until the bitter end is truly amazing.
Much like Donna Missal, there were many moments throughout Chvrches’ set with their personality was allowed to shine as bright as their music. After the third song, Lauren admitted to not reading the setlist, and seeing the photographers leave the photo bit led her to believe it was her time to chat with the audience (which it was not according to the setlist). Much like Donna’s coaster comment, this gave the audience a hearty chuckle before the band jumped back into their powerful set. Another moment that got a good reaction from the audience was when Lauren admitted to killing Big Bird to get her outfit. Okay, clearly that was a joke but the feathered sleeves on her sparkly dress that she wore for the first few tracks were definitely a little reminiscent of Big Bird.
Although Chvrches’ set was absolutely amazing, as the band closed their show out with “Clearest Blue”, you could feel a sense of almost disappointment from the audience. Not because the show was bad or anything, more because it was obvious that nobody wanted the night to end and I was with them. Chvrches’ show is legend and now I know why. What an incredible way to spend a Wednesday night.