Alvvays in Salt Lake City played a bang-up show Tuesday. Toronto’s rising stars played songs from their 2014 self-titled debut and more heavily from 2017’s Anti-Socialites and their acclaimed Blue Rev, released less than two weeks ago. The supremely assured performance is everything fans both old and new at SLC’s The Depot could have wanted.
Alvvays’ Rankin and O’Hanley enthrall
First, Molly Rankin looked every bit a college graduate student in black pants, a short-sleeve top and the the piercing, blue eyes of Siberian Husky. She confidently belted out 70 minutes of Alvvays’ best arrangements Tuesday. Rankin alternated the spotlight at times with guitarist Alec O’Hanley, who orchestrated the shoegaze overtones on “Pharmacist” and a couple of RAWK GOD breakouts, notably the showstopper bridge on “Many Mirrors.” The hour plus set was tight and confident, the sound of a band come into its own.
What is Alvvays, exactly?!
Its funny reading around to see how Alvvays is described, with very little agreement. Fuzzy guitars, yes. A bit of surf, sure. Dream pop, I gueessss. But Alvvays is also one of those bands that gets crunchier live, which is exactly what I love. At the same time, Rankin on stage still digs into the pathos and emotion of “Easy On Your Own,” “Party Police” and “Belinda Says.”
Second, a note about how Alvvays defies convention. At times Tuesday they dabbled in a bit of psychedelia, demonstrated their new range in electronics on “Very Online Guy” and showed off the sheer bubblegum delight of “Adult Diversions.” Here is that 2014 studio version:
Alvvays execute like consummate rock pros
Critically, Alvvays possess the intangible and truly priceless gift of woah-woah lyrics, exquisitely on display Tuesday on songs like “Undertow” from Anti-Socialites. At times, Alvvays wrapped their live songs in a punky, perfectly curt dead stop. At other times, they indulged in an atmospheric, languid jam that still held the crowd’s rapt attention as on the delightful extended end to “Tom Verlaine.”
Wet Leg played an abbreviated, at times joyous and thumping show at The Depot…
Alvvays in Salt Lake City a true pop joy
Finally, the standouts on Tuesday included not just current singles, “Earthquake” and “Easy On Your Own,” but perhaps inevitably their signature “Archie, Marry Me” from Alvvays’ debut. It carried no less punch, no less pleading, no less an exquisite picture of young love.
During the summer, take me sailing out on the Atlantic.
I won’t set my sights on other seas, there is no need to panic.
So honey take me by the hand and we can sign some papers.
Forget the invitations, floral arrangements and bread makers.
Hey, hey, marry me, Archie
Hey, hey, marry me, Archie
Buy your copy of Blue Rev and some Alvvays merch from Polyvinyl. Photos of Tuesday’s show follow + tour dates as Alvvays in Salt Lake City moves further west.
Alvvays tour dates:
- 10/19 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory $
- 10/20 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom $
- 10/21 – Eugene, OR @ McDonald Theatre $
- 10/22 – Seattle, WA @ The Moore Theatre $
- 10/24 – Arcata, CA @ Arcata Theatre Lounge $
- 10/26 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore $
- 10/27 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore $
- 10/28 – Pomona, CA – Glass House $ [Just Added)
- 10/29 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern $
- 10/30 – San Diego, CA @ Observatory North Park $ [SOLD OUT]
- 11/02 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater $
- 11/04 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall – Downstairs $
- 11/05 – Dallas, TX @ The Studio at The Factory $
- 11/07 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse $
- 11/08 – Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works $
- 11/09 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel $
- 11/11 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club $ [SOLD OUT]
- 11/12 – Philadelphia, PA @ Franklin Music Hall $
- 11/15 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall $
- 11/16 – New York, NY @ Kings Theater $
- 11/18 – Boston, MA @ Roadrunner $