in SF Concert Reviews by

I don’t know what it is about synth-pop but every time I listen to the genre, it subtly takes me away someplace far away as I sway back and forth to its hypnotic beats and infectious melodies. And one band that has mastered the genre is CHVRCHES.

I first discovered them when they played Coachella back in 2016. At the time I had no idea who they were but was immediately drawn to them. With a mix of swaying rhythms and angelic melodies from lead singer Lauren Mayberry, the quartet has a sound that is uniquely their own. Last night at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium it was all put on a fine display to a crowd that wasn’t going to let Omicron get in the way of having a good time.

Dressed in a cape and channeling her inner Stevie Nicks, Lauren and the boys kicked the evening off with “He Said, She Said,” the lead single off their most recent album. The song set the mood for all the other hits that followed. And although the band was there to promote their most recent songs, the hits were flowing from an already very impressive catalog for such a young group.

About midway into the set, we learned that the very first time CHVRCHES played in the U.S. was actually here in San Francisco. One of the reasons why the group enjoys coming to the city so much.

And so the love affair continues between the Bay Area and this band from Scotland. Last night was no different. With each pulsating rhythm and ethereal vocal, the crowd couldn’t get enough. And neither could I. From the time I first saw them play in the dry deserts of Palm Spring to last night in the city by the bay, this is one band that has captured my heart and grown into an all-time favorite. Until next time CHVRCHES, we’ll be waiting…

With a discography that includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for and, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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