Despite Boston natives PVRIS only releasing their debut album six months ago, they have already shot to overwhelming popularity. Having been announced as support for Lower Than Atlantis late last year, the power pop trio announced a string of headline shows right bang in the middle – two of which residing in the UK and both selling out incredibly fast. The second of which found the band in Birmingham for the night, ready to headline O2 Academy 3.
After some local talent from Light You Up and Twin Wild, the main event was ready to take the stage in full force. The set was a chance for PVRIS to showcase their album in (almost) its entirety, for fans who had only otherwise heard their music through their headphones. They open with smoke and flow into the ever popular track St. Patrick, also their first single release from the album, which ignites the crowd that suddenly is alight with screams of elation.
Singer Lynn Gunn has an electric chemistry with the crowd, jumping to the people at the front of the barrier where she can be closer to them, despite there only been a few feet between barrier and stage regardless. She has every single person right where she wants them, engaged and captivated for the whole duration. Each member seems genuinely ecstatic about the turnout, which helps, it draws everyone in more – they want a good experience just as much as they want to make sure everyone else has one too.
Mid-set see’s bassist Brian MacDonald and touring drummer Justin Nace leave the stage, leaving Gunn and guitarist Alex Babinski to perform an acoustic. They choose eyelids, a song not listed on the setlist for the night – a special treat to surprise their fans. It’s a beautiful rendition, stripping back the sampled track and leaving everything up to what Lynn can do with her voice; though in places it’s a little hard to hear her over the soaring voices of the crowd singing the song right back to her.
There’s no pre-rehearsed encore before the closing two songs, though the band do make a little joke of it. There’s no need for it, the band don’t need to walk out and have fans beg for their attention again because everyone is already in tune – everyone is already paying attention. Their penultimate song is title track White Noise and that is quickly followed by their most lively performance of the set, as if they’ve saved every ounce of energy until the last second they run through a frenetic rendition of My House. It’s a perfect song to end on, leaving everyone on a high even if ideally they would love more to follow.
From the set it’s no wonder at all that the band has risen to such pop rock stardom as they have in the past six months and the only way is up from here. It helps that they stand out from the rest of the Rise Records roster, with such a different sound and the fact they can move that almost seamlessly into their live setting can only mean that the future holds huge things for PVRIS in the year to come.