CHVRCHES / Donna Missal @ South Side Ballroom, Dallas, TX

Words and photos by Scott Rowe
The last time CHVRCHES made a stop in the DFW Metroplex was at Fortress Festival in Fort Worth, as they headlined the Saturday night slot back in 2019. During those run of shows, the Glasgow trio were touring off of their third release, Love Is Dead. This time around, they've had nearly two years of COVID restrictions to not only put together their fourth album but also line up a North American tour that brings them to the South Side Ballroom in Dallas. As crazy as it seems, this is actually the first legit, non-festival CHVRCHES show I've seen and even when I say it out loud, it doesn't really resonate because I've seen the band a couple of times already but in the shortened sets and minimized production of a festival setting. So seeing the band in their element of a headlining slot of their own tour was very satisfying.

Whenever I play CHVRCHES around my house, my wife describes their music similar to that of Rainbow Bright, but I know she means it in the most positive way possible. She enjoys the upbeat music and she flatters me when she says that my previous photos of singer Lauren Mayberry are some of my best. I don't disagree with her. When Mayberry and company take the stage at South Side, I'm welcomed with a burst of light from the giant LED panel behind them and the strobing lights that accompany the music. Opening with "He Said She Said", track two of 2021's release, Screen Violence, it sets the tone that the band is coming with pulsating bass and synths to compliment Mayberry's focused vocal delivery. Over the course of a several years, I've seen Lauren evolve into a dominant front woman, who in the past (circa 2014) didn't provide a performance that demanded attention but that has all fallen by the wayside as she commands the stage and is the focal point of the show.

The majority of Sunday's set was taken from Screen Violence, as seven of the album's ten tracks made the setlist. But when the set ends with seventeen songs, it gives the band plenty of time to incorporate some of their older tracks, tracks that are now considered classics. Songs such as "Leave a Trace", "Recover", and "The Mother We Share" all make an appearance and are greeted by lengthy singalongs by the South Side faithful. But when the night comes to an end, the band ends with the song, "Clearest Blue", the most obvious closer in their catalog. It's a banger with its slow buildup but once it hits its peak, Mayberry leads the sold out crowd into a frenzy as she dances wildly on stage as the music provides the perfect backdrop. After the song ends, I can only sit and hope there is more but sadly, one encore is all there is and it only leaves me wanting more.

Photos of the show are below:

Donna Missal

CHVRCHES / Donna Missal @ South Side Ballroom, Dallas, TX CHVRCHES / Donna Missal @ South Side Ballroom, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on November 17, 2021 Rating: 5
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