Pale Waves and PVRIS Rock the Uptown


After catching PVRIS too many times to keep track of during their first two album cycles in both Boston and Minneapolis, it’s hard to believe it has been nearly six years since I’ve seen them live. Between then and now, PVRIS has released a couple of albums and have made a few stops in the Twin Cities, but the stars have not aligned for me to catch them until this weekend. It was also my first time catching a show at the Uptown Theater in Minneapolis, and I was excited to check it out. After a short  delay with doors opening, the crowd finally was able to meander in the venue in plenty of time for the first opener of the night.

For the first two bands of the night, I was true to form in going in blind to see what kind of first impression I got. First up was opener Sizzy Rocket. Bursting forth on to the stage, Sizzy Rocket brought out the energy right from the start. While not my personal cup of tea musically, I can definitely appreciate and celebrate the energy and passion Sizzy Rocket put into their entire set; emoting complete confidence of themselves and their craft at every twist and turn. One of my personal favorite parts of Sizzy Rocket was when they brought out a keytar to finish out the last couple songs of their set. It was an unexpected touch of razzle dazzle that was the highlight of the first 30 minutes of the show.

Next up was the second unfamiliar band to me of the night: Pale Waves. The band’s entrance was a little more subtle than their predecessor’s; the house music quieted, the lights dimmed and then Pale Waves kicked  right into it. Sonically very different from Sizzy Rocket, the English rock band seamlessly moved through their short and sweet set, leaving the crowd interaction to a minimum in favor of showcasing their brand of indie rock.  Personally, what I loved about Pale Wave’s set was how approachable their sound was and the vibe that emoted from the sound on stage. It was easy to get lost in the moment with the band’s punchy sound that took over the venue. It proved challenging to look away from the stage; the band had me completely glued to the front, bouncing around, and hoping that their set would go on longer than 30 minutes. The only disappointment for me was that Pale Waves wasn’t on stage longer, and I would instead have to go to their discography to relive their live performance.

Last but certainly not least for the evening was headliner PVRIS. After so many years away, I was excited to see how much their live performance has changed. Not soon enough, the house lights dimmed and the decibels in Uptown Theater skyrocketed as PVRIS took the stage by storm, with back to back tracks off of their newest record EVERGREEN, followed quickly by their new single “Burn the Witch” which absolutely popped off live. One of my favorite memories of PVRIS is seeing their back to back hometown shows in Boston at the Royale during their “White Noise” album cycle. Even though PVRIS barely dipped their toes in tracks from this era during their set, it is clearly evident how much their sound and performance has matured; the live renditions of the songs from this era got an incredible makeover and flawlessly fit into their current sound. The best part of their set for me was seeing their newest material live for the first time, watching the crowd get hyped track after track, with medley like transitions between songs, and being blown away by just how good PVRIS is live. It had been way too long since I’ve seen PVRIS and I’m stoked that was able to change that this weekend; hopefully it won’t be another six years until I’m able to catch them again.