Alvvays Reach New Heights at Kings Theatre
November 17, 2022
Alvvays – Kings Theatre – November 16, 2022
Fresh off the release of their latest album, Blue Rev, an ascendent Alvvays (pronounced: always) played a sold-out Kings Theatre on Wednesday night. The Toronto power-pop band’s latest is arguably their best to date and easily one of the most impressive releases of 2022. “I never thought I’d say this, but it feels good to be surrounded by a shitload of people,” said singer Molly Rankin after powering through the triumphant “After the Earthquake.” The stage’s backdrop through the song featured the POV of a moving car, a fitting visual for the track’s stop-and-go momentum, with the closing guitar riff hitting the gas to rev through its final chorus. Blue Rev is a pinnacle for the band, now more than a decade old. Every reason to love Alvvays before has reached new heights. The fast pace of their songs makes their intricacies and fine-tuned guitar tones seem seamless and easy.
“Feel free to sing along to this song, a song of tenderness,” Raskin invited the audience, introducing “Not My Baby.” Her lyrics welcome sing-alongs, but she’s a hard act to follow. On “Easy on Your Own?” Raskin left fans in the dust for the high parts of the chorus, singing, “If you don’t like it, well” loud in a sharp voice and then again later in a softer falsetto. She treats her vocals like the band treats guitars: They pop perfectly into their place in the song.
Alvvays also tease gorgeous little moments that could be stretched out into songs of their own. “Tom Verlaine” featured an overwhelming ocean of colliding, perfected guitar tones — a big sound constructed perfectly for a big venue like Kings Theatre — then came crashing down into a slow coda that’s its own beautiful little jingle. The twists and turns of “Belinda Says” felt like three songs rolled into one, ending with an exalted proclamation, “And we’ll all get help paradise / And we’ll start another life.” —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks