A band like Alvvays does not come around too often. With lush synthesizers and Fender-style-reverb washed guitars, Alvvays reminds listeners of a time that hasn’t really existed musically.
Their use of lyrics about avoiding adulthood, and poppy, memorable choruses set them apart from other bands today. In some respects, Alvvays is an indie-pop band with punk undertones.
Concertgoers were determined to be front and center at Alvvays’ sold-out show in Boston, and waited in line long before the doors opened to the Paradise Rock Club. Showing up just before the doors opened meant you were waiting in line all the way down Commonwealth Ave. Frontwoman Molly Rankin told the crowd that the band was rested and prepared for their tour starting in Boston that night. The audience was also ready for the band as each one of the 18 songs played on Oct. 3 was met with Beatlemania like screams.
The band played nearly every song in their two-album catalogue barring “Red Planet” and “Already Gone.” Throwing in a cover at the end of their much-anticipated encore, “Trying to be Kind” by Motorcycle Boy ended the concert with their take on an 80’s pop gem.
The first half of the set saw Alvvays playing through most of their new album, “Antisocialites,” with a short interruption of “Adult Diversion” from their debut album as the second song of the set. As the set progressed, the discography became intertwined and all the songs on the set list began to switch between the two albums.
What Alvvays has accomplished in their live performance, matches none other. Their dreamy punkish-pop sounds exactly like what their live show looks like. Projected dark purples, misty ocean greens, and thermal coloring covered the entire band throughout the show. Choose nearly any music video the band has released and you’ll see the same grainy, Super 8 film camera style that was projected onto them during the show.
The band’s newest album starts with a synthesizer melody that gathers itself into a crescendo as “In Undertow” begins. The lush, huge synth is incredible on the album, but hearing it in person was an entirely different experience. Being surrounded by the sound of that stunning opening melody in the Paradise Rock Club is just one example of the band’s live excellence.
One thing that was surprising other than Alvvays’ cover of Motorcycle Boy was their choice of song placement in the set list. “Archie, Marry Me,” one of their most well-known songs seemed sure to make its way into the encore. Their encore instead featured “Dives,” “The Agency Group,” and then their cover of “Trying to be Kind.” It didn’t seem that anyone in the crowd minded what songs were played when though. The band could have played any song and the crowd would have gone wild.
Alvvays’ energy throughout the show remained at maximum capacity for about an hour and a half, performing nearly every song in their catalog without missing one beat. Each song sounded true to the recorded versions, but in a live venue became even more enticing. Next time Alvvays comes around Boston, it is better to buy tickets ahead of time because this band sells out every time they come here. The excitement around this show and throughout the whole night proved that Boston doesn’t seem to love a band as much as they love Alvvays.