LIVE: Alvvays and Jay Som Mesmerize a Sold Out Thalia Hall
Last Friday night, Jay Som and Alvvays gave a sold out crowd at Thalia Hall the perfect ending to their week with performances that had them hooked from start to finish.
Californian Jay Som and her band took the stage first, delivering deeply personal narratives framed in soft, indie melodies. Songs like "The Bus Song" and "Baybee" from Jay Som's sophomore album Everybody Works had the crowd singing along with the singer songwriter. The latter closed out the 30 minute set, and picked up the pace from the song prior, getting the audience ready for Alvvay's show.
By the time the Toronto five piece took the stage, the crowd was bubbling over with excitement for the hour long set that would follow. Alvvays had last been in town to play Lollpalooza in August, including an after show at The Empty Bottle in Ukrainian Village, and since the festival, their sophomore album Antisocialites had been released. The ten track follow up to Alvvays' 2014 debut came in strong during the band's performance at Thalia Hall, with the first handful of songs coming from the record. Songs like "Plimsoll Punks" and "In Undertow" had the crowd moving along to the band's signature blend of dream pop and indie rock. To complement the music, the band performed in front of a screen backdrop, with the lights and images changing during each song. After the group performed "Lollipop (Ode To Jim)," they broke the new album streak by mixing in crowd favorites from their self-titled record, like "The Agency Group" and "Atop a Cake." While the crowd remained engaged with the music the whole set, nothing compared to their reaction to the introductory guitar strumming of the band's viral song "Archie, Marry Me." The building, cinematic pop tune plays out as if it were written for a dramatic moment in a teen movie, and the audience bellowed the explosive chorus along with lead singer Molly Rankin. Throughout the night, Rankin managed to deliver her vocals flawlessly, and the entire band followed suit, remaining tight knit and on top of their game the entire time.
In addition to the skilled execution of their new album, Rankin and the rest of band kept the spirit of the room up but telling funny anecdotes between songs. Rankin told the crowd about the band's interest in sports, mentioned they wanted to keep an eye on the score for the Toronto Raptors game, and sure enough someone shouted out the score towards the end of the set. Rankin also asked the crowd to inform the band of the latest Chicago gossip about halfway through the set, saying "give us something juicy." The night finished strong with a three song encore consisting of tracks from the debut album and a cover of The Motorcycle Boy's "Trying to Be Kind."
Check out our gallery of the show below so you can always remember (pun intended) what a wonderful performance Alvvays put on at this sold out show!