Alvvays, Absolutely Free, Late Bloomer
Nov. 14, 2014
"I feel like I'm performing at a teen dance at a skating rink," Alvvays singer Molly Rankin told the small crowd at the Neighborhood Theatre on Nov. 14, 2014. Performing on the small stage of the NoDa venue, the Canadian band rifled through songs from its self-titled debut released earlier this year. Rankin never really qualified the statement, so those in attendance can only assume it was meant to be complimentary, in some way — though who liked going to awkward high school dances?
Armed with a steady arsenal of pop-infused indie rock, the quintet's Charlotte debut won over the crowd in short order. Sure, the band's hit single, "Marry Me, Archie" seemed to garner the most energy from the audience, but heads bobbed in approval throughout the band's set.
Performing nearly every song from its nine-track album, Alvvays' only hiccup came in the moment when Rankin asked about if Ohio or North Carolina should have the "First in Flight" nickname. She probably wasn't expecting a heated reaction (shouts of "North Carolina!" snapped back at her) and quickly moved on to the next song.
Instead of an encore, the band simply ended its set and began to mingle with the crowd. Some people near the front of the stage chanted for "one more song!" but the majority of people started to file out into the winter-like night air.
The night got started with a 25-minute set by Charlotte indie-rock trio Late Bloomer
. Though the sound was a bit muddied, making it unusually difficult to hear vocals, the band's post-punk-meets-college-rock sound was a fitting appetizer for the evening with Neil Mauney and Josh Robbins trading vocal duties.
Canadian trio Absolutely Free
, featuring former members of DD/MM/YYYY, was in the middle of this musical sandwich with its rhythm-heavy experimental rock that leaned heavily on synths and drums. The group created textured layers of jazz-like instrumentation behind reverbed vocals and harmonies that kept its 25 minute-set intriguing.
The Agency Group
Next of Kin
Ones Who Love You
Atop a Cake
Marry Me, Archie
Encore (not played)