Some Coachella sets are about finding an audience. Others are about proving just how substantial a rising band's is.
The latter is the best scenario to describe the absolute hordes of fans stacked cheek-to-jowl at Chvrches' afternoon Outdoor Stage set. The Scottish electro-pop trio has made big strides since their album "The Bones of What You Believe" last fall. But the turnout at their Coachella set suggested that much bigger things are in store.
The band played great, with a mix of self-effacing charm from singer Lauren Mayberry and perfectly calibrated pop bullets from her bandmates and producers. But the real story was in the audience. Teenage girls finding a new pop hero, shouting along to every word of kiss-off poison pen letters like "Gun."
Guys in tank tops and neon shades nodded along with the heavy drum programming and deep-cut basslines. Dance fans were digging the synthetic sounds. Pop fans loved the enormous, finely wrought choruses.
Over the band's 45 minutes or so, it was almost impossible to see anyone walking by without stopping, turning, and at least giving the set a few minutes of curiosity. By the time the set was done, the bodies were tens of thousands deep, and Chvrches had to know they just singlehandedly won over the biggest assembly of the afternoon with sheer force of will and presence.
On a day of similar-minded electropop (Future Islands, MGMT), they pulled it out in the end, and good for them. They likely have a lot more worship in store for them too.
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