Pvris @Manchester Academy, January 22 2023
Nine months after postponing their UK and European tour, Pvris took to the stage in Manchester looking to make up for lost time.
Astonishingly the only thing colder than the plummeting Mancunian temperatures outside was the ice in the veins of lead singer Lyndsey Gunnulfsen.
When announcing the postponement last April, Gunn stated: “I never want to compromise the creative quality or integrity of our music and visuals.
“This is something that unfortunately had to be done too many times on this past album cycle (we gave it our best despite the circumstances).
“I refuse to do that moving forward. PVRIS deserves better and you deserve better, as you are the sole reason we get to do what we do.”
There are many words that can be associated with Pvris but compromise certainly isn’t one of them.
A packed Manchester Academy may have taken a little time to fully loosen up but by the end of the night those in attendance were in full flow.
Sands Of Time
Kicking off a night of female fronted rock, the impressive Charlotte Sands put in a performance sure to gain her more than a few new followers.
Reminiscent of a less awkward Paramore at the beginning of their career, Sands displayed impressive levels of stage presence in front of those fortunate enough to beat the ludicrous queues to enter the venue.
A game Maggie Lindemann showcased plenty of style and confidence but was hampered throughout by astoundingly awful sound mixing.
From start to finish, Lindemann’s performance came across confused and messy.
Using your own tracks as playback can create consistency but here the levels were frankly atrocious.
Sudden dips from studio recorded vocals into live ones were jarring enough but spiking the bass guitar throughout became tiresome.
Lindemann herself looks to be a born entertainer, bouncing across the stage with exuberance but great swathes of her vocals disappointingly looked to be lip-synced.
Thankfully, the disappointment in the sound mixing and any fears it could spill into the main attraction of the evening were quickly dispelled within a few bass notes and guitar chords of Pvris taking the stage.
A large amount of foliage was intriguingly the only prop used on the stage here.
No LED screens, no banners.
Just the band, house plants and some ludicrously cool stage lights.
From the minute she walked on stage, Gunn exuded confidence.
Power jacket on, moody and atmospheric lights blazing out from behind.
Starting with Animal and cherry picking tracks from a growing back catalogue of three full length albums, fans of all eras had something to sink their teeth into.
The chest thumping drums, synthetic sounds now synonymous with Pvris enveloped an entranced audience.
This set ached with coolness.
So crystal clear were the vocals and sound mixing that the audience seemed almost too dialled into the performance, gently swaying and nodding along.
But halfway through Dead Weight, the venue came alive, peaking with What’s Wrong, Fire and especially You And I.
There were a couple of live debuts during the set, first last year’s B-Side release Anywhere But Here followed up by an encore including the upcoming single and previously unheard Goddess.
Finishing up their set with a raucous version of My House and a ‘dancey one’ in Hallucinations, the only disappointment of the night was that it all ended too soon.
Always leave them wanting more though. Right?
When All’s Said And Gunn
As for what’s next for Pvris, 2023 looks set to play host to their next LP, expected some time in the summer.
It may have taken years to admit, but Gunn truly is Pvris and Pvris is Gunn.
In 2018, the band played Slam Dunk Festival with Gunn running back and forward across the stage, racing from one instrument to the next.
Here she paced back and forward, content with letting her voice do the talking.
Confidence personified, even the admission of the odd mistake throughout the performance in a soft voice with giggle was obliterated moments later by ethereal, siren-esque vocals.
Only one word can truly sum up the night’s performance…spellbinding.