PVRIS pronounced ‘Paris’ have made a name for themselves and amassed a passionate following doing it their way over the last ten years, blending EDM, electropop and alternative rock for quite a unique sound.
Tonight’s show was initially planned for Brixton Academy, but since the tragedy at the venue last December, all shows are now being relocated, and this one ended up at the much-loved Hammersmith Apollo or these days known as the Eventim Apollo.
Due to a bit of a travel nightmare to the venue, I missed the first support but managed to catch Maggie Lindemann‘s 9-song set in full.
Lindemann came to the attention of the pop press when just a teenager with early charting singles ‘Pretty Girl‘ and ‘Friends Gone‘ but has undergone quite a transformation since then. This evening’s set comes entirely from the debut LP Suckerpunch, which incorporates emo and punky pop tunes to great effect. Opening with ‘Self Sabotage‘, one of the slower numbers of the set but judging from the front few rows, a definite crowd pleaser. The highly enjoyable ‘Break Me‘, follows, which borders on alt-pop, reminding me more of Cassyette meets Lil Peep. ‘Phases‘ starts with a more classic pop-punk intro before again dipping into a more poppy sound.
But that doesn’t mean Lindemann doesn’t deliver a few faster-paced bangers, including the catchy as fuck guitar-led ‘She Knows It’, the impressive and heavy ‘Novocaine‘ and highlight ‘Cages‘ which comes across like classic Avril Lavigne with a real earworm of a chorus. It’s a sweet but far too short set; here’s hoping to catch the band again at this year’s Slam Dunk Festival.
She Knows It
girl next door
you’re not special
casualty of your dreams
By the time PVRIS hit the stage at 9.15pm, the place is packed, hot and sticky after a great warm-up from the supports this evening. The set is decked out with the drums to the stage left and bass/keyboards to the right, both sat in tubular framed boxes covered with green foliage and plants with the mic stand planted firmly in the centre of the stage.
Lynn Gunn steps out of the shadows to an almighty roar from the crowd as the bass-heavy intro of their recent single, ‘ANIMAL‘, kicks in. The stage is bathed in blue and green light and thick clouds of dry ice, making the set come to life and giving it an almost ethereal look and feel more like we are at the Eden Project than the Apollo. ‘Monster‘ follows, which sounds immense and definitely one to catch in a live setting. ‘Mirrors‘, ‘Dead Weight‘ and ‘Gimme a Minute‘ keep the energy up, and the crowd respond by singing along at the top of their voices. For the hard rocking ‘Fire‘, red spots light up the stage mixed with bright white strobes and plenty of dry ice creating the illusion of smoke and flames, which does look fantastic. ‘Fire’ is far more stripped back than the more electropop numbers and more reliant on the classic bass, drums, guitar and vocals setup and definitely one of my highlights of the set. The pace slows down with the arrival of ‘Old Wounds‘ with Gunn’s vocals at their hauntingly best The main set finishes with the beautiful ‘Death of Me‘, a high point of the show and of the acclaimed 2020 album Use Me. ‘GODDESS‘ is another that sounds so much better at full blast in a live venue, so too the classic ‘My House‘ from 2014’s White Noise, always a live favourite, and tonight is no exception with every single word sung back by the crowd. The stage glows with pinks and purples for the final number, ‘Hallucinations’, which gives the punters one last chance to sing along before the house lights go up and sing they do!
Judging by the queues at the merch stand on the way out, it’s been a successful night’s entertainment, but I did hear a few voices hoping for a longer set from PVRIS, but there’s always next time.
Gimme a Minute
Anywhere but Here
You and I
Death of Me
Words and Photos by Cris Watkins