Alvvays + Jay Som 10/31/17, Denver

Live at the Bluebird Theatre for a special Halloween fashion show… so to speak.

BY TIM HINELY

Why give out candy to the kiddos on Halloween when you can go see Alvvays! Yes, for this terrific Toronto band’s first sojourn to the Mile High City I was not gonna miss it but first I had to weather labelmates (Polyvinyl) Jay Som (who were all dressed as The Edge from U-2…that was great). I’ve seen Jay Som before here when they headlined over the Courtneys last year and I don’t necessarily dislike the band but I’m not falling all over them like a lot of of folks.

It’s a pop sound, one that’s occasionally dreamy, other times groove-oriented and at other times a big, grating mess (and I just don’t hear enough hooks). Leader Melina Duterte definitely has talent and most of the crowd seemed to love it so who am I to judge. Check her/them out for yourself and make your own informed decision (Everybody Works is their latest).

Canada’s Alvvays, hot on ther heels of their sophomore release Antosicalites, hit the stage at 9:15 PM sharp dressed as Oompa Loompas and from there it was an hour or so of melodic pop bliss! They remind me a bit of a few 80’s/90’s indie pop bands like Velocity Girl and Shop Assistants as well as current bands like Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Veronica Falls. Falling nicely into the pantheon of great pop bands.

They opened with “Hey” which is the new waveish song off the new album (and sounds just a wee bit out of place on the record) and from there proceeded to play mosty of the cuts from both of their records. After that first song the 1-2-3- punch of “Adult Diversion,” “In Undertow” and “Plimsoll Punks” knocked us all flat in the best way possible.

Mid-set they laid out the great “Saved by a Waif” and the Shop Assistants-esque “Your Type” and ended the set with another great trifecta in “Archie, Marry Me” (the surprise hit off their S/T 2014 debut), “Dreams Tonite” (my 9 year old’s favorite song) and “Party Police.”

They came back out and played the great “Next of Kin” and ended it with a cover of a Motorcycle Boy (who were a post-Shop Assistants band) cover of “Trying to be Kind” and called it a night.

The band is really flying high as this sold out show proved and they deserve it, they work hard and write terrific songs. Looking forward to see what they deliver on their next record but for now I’m still basking in this memorable Halloween. Alvvays and forever!

 

 

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