PVRIS (PARIS) live at the Great Hall, Cardiff University
It would be completely incorrect to say that PVRIS are an overnight sensation. Going from playing to a mere 200 people to a sold out 2000 capacity venue within a year seems like a fluke but this certainly isn’t the case for PVRIS. Tonight, the Boston three-piece are ready to prove to the people of Cardiff what a combination of hard work, talent and endless touring can do to a pleasantly humble group of Millennials.
Introducing the evening are Alvarez Kings. They share similarities to PVRIS, which classes them as an appropriate support act; hints of synthetic and electronic sounds with heartfelt lyrics. There are nods and claps all round from the crowd, which is evidence enough that they’ve won over tonight’s audience.
K.Flay provides a predominantly fun yet easy listen for the crowd. Think Charli XCX, only lyrically darker and perhaps less energetic. With a unique and slightly raspy tone to her voice, her (only) narrowly more radio-friendly sound is what sets them apart from the other bands tonight.
If the towering banner depicting PVRIS’ debut album White Noise wasn’t indication enough that they’re tonight’s headliners, the deafening roar of fans as the band come on is. Singer, Lyndsey Gunnulfsen aka Lynn Gunn, guitarist Alex Babinski and bassist Alex MacDonald triumphantly take to the stage.
Starting off with album opener, Smoke, the echo of the singing back is hauntingly loud and clear, but this isn’t quite yet enough. They want more and they follow this with standout song, St. Patrick. Now it really kicks off. The chaos unfolds and PVRIS are thriving off this enthusiasm, which is continuous through White Noise and Fire.
Slowing down the movement are tracks Only Love and Holy, played predominantly on acoustic guitar, adds another dimension to the evening, which is incredibly distinct from the usual alt rock electronic vibe that they’re known for. Throwing in this extra dynamic pushes the set over from being great to really great. Thinning down the texture during this track boasts Lynn’s gritty and commanding vocals.
It’s difficult to say which one of PVRIS’ songs is the most successful, as they’re all equally well received as each other. From the thundering Let Them In to the lively My House, not one person would be able to tell that this is their first headline UK tour and set in Cardiff.
If you hadn’t heard of PVRIS until now. . . firstly, where have you been? Secondly, get listening. They’re about to get big. Very, very big.
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Live Review and Photography by Natalie Lam of PVRIS (pronounced PARIS) at Great Hall, Cardiff University on 8th April 2016.