On September 29th, I finally saw Alvvays at Union Transfer in Philadelphia. I bought these tickets months ago, and was very excited because I actually had tickets to see them last time they were around but something came up and I always regretted missing it. As the concert approached, I started listening more to their newest album, Antisocialites, and realized I never gave it the appreciation it deserved. Molly Rankin, the vocalist, has the voice of an angel, and it really came through live despite her claims of being sick. Rankin's vocals and energy led the group and brought it together to produce an amazing show.
Hatchie and Snail Mail, the opening acts, did not impress me as much as I had hoped, but it was still fun to see them. In their defense, I do not know most of their songs, but they had the same bedroom pop vibe as Alvvays, just not on the same tier. The openers were talented and really set the bar for the headliner, but you really notice how much stage presence and ambiance can really turn up the quality for a live show when Alvvays came on.
I was not sure what to expect from Alvvays, because a lot of their songs are moody and slower, but the setlist was full of bops and songs you could really jam along to from both their debut album and their more recent work. I really felt the energy of the sold out crowd, and it was a great set. The set up of the stage was gorgeous as well, with a shiny backdrop behind the band that moved with some breeze and sparkled as various lights hit it. It was as beautiful to watch as it was to listen to the music.
The concert as a whole was really an experience. As it went on I realized I knew way more songs than I thought and the whole set felt so familiar, reminding me of morning drives to my high school jamming out to "Archie, Marry Me." “Plimsoll Punks” had to have been one of my favorites to hear live. When Antisocialites dropped I played that track on my radio show regularly, so it was amazing to hear it in person! I'm so glad I managed to snag a pair of tickets before they sold out and I definitely will be keeping an eye out to see if they came back around. I would definitely recommend checking out Alvvays or Antisocialites if you have not before, they're albums that have a distinct vibe and are enjoyable from start to finish. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for any new music from Alvvays!