357 days ago PVRIS played a one-shot headline show at The Barfly in Camden. It featured everything that makes the band so exciting but Lynn, Brian and Alex kept looking at each other as their horizons expanded faster than they could. ‘Let Them In’ was abandoned ‘cos the equipment wouldn’t work and the demand for an encore was met with the admission that the band don’t know anymore songs. A lot can change…
A year on the road and being under near-constant focus throughout has shaped PVRIS into a formidable live band. But we’ve already seen that. Slam Dunk, Reading, their arena tour with Bring Me The Horizon and beyond, the band know their way about the stage but tonight is about more than great songs played well.
As the oncoming storm of ‘Smoke’ washes in, the antique mirror on the backdrop is lit up with blocks of white and grey. From here on out every song is reflected above. PVRIS have the ability to transport a room to another world and, from the red-eyed warning of ‘Fire’ through the drawn curtain intimacy of ‘Only Love’ to the name in lights illumination of ‘You & I’ this enchantment is finally given the gateway it deserves. The vision realised.
Dancing between light and dark, the band are full of confidence and for good reason. There’s an instinctual bond between them, a trust that doesn’t need eye contact, which means the trio can focus on the crowd before them. Smirking, snarling and unafraid to ask questions twice, Lynn, Brian and Alex know how to get the very best from a room. Mobile phones light up the space like “an ocean of weird fishes” during ‘Ghost’ before Lynn asks for them to be put away for ‘Holy’. “I feel like everyone’s very fixed on their phones. They’re not fully fixed in the moment,” she explains ahead of changing the lyrics to reinforce her wishes with a grin.
Despite the grand theatre of the evening, PVRIS haven’t lost any of their electric energy. ‘White Noise’ is an album of playful experimentation and tonight is no different. During K. Flay’s support set, all skipping vocals, thundering beats and constant movement, Lynn jumps on stage to play the drums for no other reason than she wants to. There’s concentration across her face and a wide-eyed smile to match before she disappears, leaving K. Flay space to continue her free-flowing, joyous bounce. That desire for a good time continues into the night, from the cracked skip of ‘Mirrors’ until the all-out euphoria of ‘My House’.
“A year ago, we did not think we would be playing in front of this tonight,” Lynn explains, gesturing to the heaving capacity of the Kentish Town Forum. This is their world now. The horizons are still expanding rapidly but it’s under their instruction. The vision is fully formed and PVRIS are at the forefront, constantly breaking new ground.
For more on PVRIS, check out the latest issue of Upset where the band face your questions. Oo-eer.