Live Review: Alvvays @ 9:30 Club, 5/8/18
The last time Toronto foursome Alvvays was in DC, they did a sold out two-night stand at the Rock & Roll Hotel. This time around, they did one very sold out night at the 9:30 Club. What a difference seven months can make.
What hasn't changed about seeing Alvvays is the experience itself. This Tuesday night show was as joyous a happening as was the October evening I had the pleasure of going to. It was also the band's last show of a seven-week tour, so there was a mix of enthusiasm and relieved energy coming from the stage.
As with that October show, the band started as they meant to go on, with a dizzying rendition of the jaunty "Hey." The fine fuzz pop of "Adult Diversion" followed, one of the songs plucked from the band's self-titled debut. It was back to Antisocialites for a smoldering "In Undertow," one of the best songs from last year's impeccable long player.
Alvvays spent a good deal of time with songs from their critically-lauded 2017 record, from the scuzzed-up bounce of "Plimsoll Punks" to the reckless abandon of "Lollipop (Ode to Jim)" to the bittersweet, heart-in-throat charm of "Not My Baby" (dedicated by Molly to the Toronto Raptors). The breathless impatience of my (current) favorite, "Saved by A Waif," inspired some gung ho air guitar from some of the crowd.
After a few more from Antisocialites it was back to the oldies, a triad of the wistful "Ones Who Love You," the sweetly reluctant "Atop a Cake," and the one many had waited for, "Marry Me, Archie." The singalong for the latter was a lovely thing to witness.
If you missed out seeing Alvvays on this tour, you'll definitely want to catch them next time around. A night with Alvvays is as good as it gets.
[photo of Alvvays copyright Megan Petty]