Live Review: Alvvays @ Rock & Roll Hotel, 10/8/17

I've been smitten with Canadian cuties Alvvays since I first heard their self-titled debut long player all the way back in 2014. Yet somehow, the stars hadn't ever aligned as far as getting to see the dynamic dream popsters live. Until last weekend, that is.

The band was booked in for a two-night stint at the Rock & Roll Hotel, and yours truly went to the second night of that twosome. So sold out was this particular show that I walked into the main room and almost smack dab into a wall of bodies. It was at that moment that I noticed the Hotel's much-appreciated addition of flat screen televisions in the back (obviously put in to take pity on those of us who got stuck in the back for sold out shows and aren't all that tall). 

As the pre-set music played, I couldn't help but notice the inclusion of The Clean's delightful dream fuzz dalliance "Tally Ho." If one was giving out high school yearbook type superlatives, I'd vote Alvvays as the band I'd most want to go drinking and dancing with (dancing to "Tally Ho" being an absolute must). 

Things got underway around 9:30, and the band started with "Hey," from new record Antisocialites. They sounded sweet as can be, though not so sweet that they couldn't make the walls shake - quite a lot. "I'll lay mayhem at your doorstep," blonde bombshell Molly Rankin sings in "Hey," and given how loud the show was she's not whistling Dixie. A roar went up for the sparkling fizz of "Adult Diversion" and the divinity of "In Undertow," definitely crowd favorites.

From what I could see, there was quite a little dancefloor cooking up in front of the stage, and that's exactly how it should have been. With delightfully fuzzy nuggets like "Plimsoll Punks" and "Saved by a Waif" on offer, it's no wonder there was a whole lot of shimmying going on. 

As Molly mentioned early on in the set, the band's setlist pulled heavily from Antisocialites - so much so that only "Already Gone" was kept on the shelf. Song after song flew by, the band hitting it out of the park each time. I give them major kudos for not closing the show with big hit "Archie, Marry Me," and instead closing with my very favorite (at the moment) song, the incredibly swoonable "Dreams Tonite."

All told, seeing Alvvays was as wonderful as I could possibly have hoped. Their infectious combination of effervescent sweetness and grounded, wistful realism is as appealing live as it is on record. If you haven't yet seen Alvvays live, I strongly encourage you do so as soon as possible.

Below, check out a few videos from the two DC shows to get an idea of what you missed.


[posted 10.15.17]

[photo from Youtube]


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