Venue: Hard Rock Café (Cuscaden), Singapore
Date: 26th June 2018
Promoter: LAMC Productions
Review by: Maisha G.
Special Thanks: The LAMC Productions team
Music has since evolved since the early years of Motown and Soul, the progression into 80s disco music, and transitioning to subdivisions of a variety of genres pigeonholed to describe a particular band’s sound. Amidst the categorizing of bands in the respective genres, they have since enveloped and fused genres that gels well, producing a unique song that attracts a larger demographic of audience.
This particular band, PVRIS, is the sound that many seek now as a perfect concoction of various genres mashed together to create a work of art. Rising Star (the series) is apt to its reputation as they are growing exponentially as the days go by.
Having garnered more fans as they go, 2014 was their prime time and their music managed to seep through the crevices of heavy progressive metal when I stumbled upon Mark Holcomb’s Instagram post, saying “so many good hooks on this record” that warranted a hashtag of #earcandy from him. Being a massive fan of Periphery myself, I was keen to give the band a listen, having an expectation in mind of a ‘djenty’ album but to my surprise, of utmost pleasantry, it was a totally different genre altogether. A fuse of electronica, alternative with the rough grunge guitar edges, mainly lathered with electronica. It was a breath of fresh air and I further surprised myself on how quickly I was hooked on to the record. That evening itself, I repeated their debut album ‘White Noise’ twice over and I was quick to grasp their lyrics altogether. The alluring music was hard to shake off and the lyrics gelled so perfectly together, each and every song on the record is a masterpiece.
I enjoy metal music through and through and I believe I am a dedicated metal head at heart but each time I stumble upon PVRIS on my Spotify playlist, I wish I’d get the chance to catch them live one day. I was convinced that not many people from my hometown was aware of such amazing music due to pop music taking the limelight from these artists with pure talents. And the news about PVRIS finally setting foot in our shores felt like winning a lottery. And I said ‘finally, some great music and an amazing live performance’.
Again, I was unsure of how the turn up would be but my expectation was being crossed at every anticipation that I had. The meet and greet passes sold out within the span of few days and I knew then that it was going to be an amazing show, a band truly worthy of a massive turn up.
I have to say though that the venue was a little unexpected but it the band is amazing, the size of the place does not matter and true enough, the cafe was filled to the very brim and my friends and myself could only afford to reserve a spot in front of the bar. We were prepared to not be able to see the faces of these extraordinary humans but we were ready to immerse in the beauty that is their music.
The night started off with “Heaven” a single and a song off their recently released album titled ‘All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell’, a song which lyrics were beautifully written and sways away from the moulded cut out of an emotional song; it was a track that was brought in with a third person’s perspective, describing feelings as it is and nothing overtly flamboyant. The melody that accompanied the words were sombre and fits well with the tone and mood of the song, all in all, starting the night off right, at the beginning.
I was singing my heart out and it was a long time coming since I burst into weird song choruses at random times and I find myself singing a lot to “Heaven”‘s chorus.
I was reaching a ‘high’ from the surreal start to the show and I yelped and said “THIS IS MY FAVOURITE SONG!”, startling my friends around me as they played “Mirrors”, off their ‘White Noise’ album. That song is on every saved offline playlist on Spotify of mine and it brings me back to the familiarity. It was not a typical love song as many would deem it to be but it was a song wrote in the topic of a spectre, a metaphor for someone who’s no longer around but still etched at the back of your mind. The powerful wordplay that brings fans to draw the correlation has not only proved for it to be an amazing song only but also a poetry, a reminder, an anthem to many, just like me.
The night took off to a high when “St. Patrick” started playing. The electronica soared up as it reverberated through the speakers. And people got their groove on and were seen jumping. The ground was literally shaking but despite the small space in between each patron of the night, everyone was having fun. I was jumping in my spot and having to continuously apologise to the person beside me. I never knew I’d be able to have such an experience in the flesh but I did and I haven’t danced that hard since Jonas Brothers’. My two left feet co-operated with me as I sang “You are a miracle and I’m not spiritual” in my screechy voice but it didn’t seem to faze anyone around me and I continued on, realising I am smiling so hard. I was truly having fun.
Smoke” came hand in hand with the song “Mirrors” as the popular idiom adopted by many – smoke and mirrors. Again, the lyrics of this song, to draw a relation to “Mirrors” complements well to the widely used term. Such a powerful placement of words that was brilliantly crafted to form a flow and an identity. I am truly awed as I slowly realised the meaning behind the songs as the night progresses.
I am not yet familiarized with the song “Half” of their new album but Lynn Gunn, the brainchild and a goddess in my eyes, the voice behind this masterpiece of a band, requested for the crowd to watch the show with their eyes instead of their phones, something that got to me since the start of the show as everyone raised their phones up in the air to record the show. I am all for keeping memories but picturing and experiencing the night in real time and real-ness beats any recordings hand down. To have a full sensory experience, one has to sing and dance, ultimately being hands free. We could finally see faces of Brian and Alex, the two amazing gentlemen of the band, materialise right infront of our eyes after having to spend half of the show spotting their faces through phone screens. My friends and myself applauded loudly and we were having the best times of our lives.
The song “Holy” holds a special place in the heart of my good friend who was there with me. I asked him what made it so special for him and he said “It spoke to me like no other song ever did, my choice to choose how to live my life and how I could explain to anyone about it”. It was a song, which if was explained since the start would create a strain as the stigma of the LGBTQ community have been facing for the longest time. Lynn took this opportunity to speak out and speak again the organized mentality that frowns upon the free spirits of the spectrum of colours. Again, a message so succinct and perfect that hit the buttons, carved into an eloquent song, became an anthem for many who weren’t able to speak their mind. For that, Lynn, thank you.
Playing more songs off their new album like “You And I”, “What’s Wrong”, “Winter”, and “Anyone Else”, I jumped to the joy of the rhythm, it felt right, it felt like home. Something that’s been missing for a long time when I attend shows these days. It fits like a second skin and feels euphoric throughout.
“My House” came on and the crowd went wild as the jumping persists and so did the chants from the crowd, singing to every single word of the song; it was defintely a song that happened to be one of the most popular numbers. It was one voice alongside Lynn’s. An honest ball of talent with impeccable vocals that sounded like she’s on radio. It was as great as it could get.
The encore was “No Mercy” and it was the best ending closing song anyone could ask for. I saw people jumping, doing awkward dances, friends hugging each other, couples kissing, individuals in their own zone. Yes, the music was loud and vivacious but everyone had a special takeaway that night. I am confident as I speak on behalf of my friends and we were just smiling from ear to ear, this was something that we’ve longed for.
PVRIS truly touched our hearts not only with their presence and their performance but also bestowing us with a music that’s not only updated but a platform for the many who are afraid to speak up or not as good with words; it becomes their chant, their ground, and their anthem. PVRIS holds a special place in the hearts of a metalhead, a punk rocker or even an EDM enthusiast. Their music so widely diverse yet touches the hearts of every individual in ways deemed in their perspectives. A true masterpiece of a band and an ongoing Rising Star.
Thank you LAMC for a great night.