A Dreamy Night with PVRIS

Written by Natalie Melendez

Graphic by Emily Lantzy

          Friday, September 6th, 9:00 p.m. — I stand in pitch black darkness, surrounded by a crowd of hazy faceless figures, all tapping their feet in anticipation, waiting for a reviving whisper of life. Not much time passes between the dreadful wait when a sudden bursting beat of drums cuts through the silence. Shocking and exhilarating all at once, the figures around me and I begin to slowly transcend into a dreaming state. The stage before us becomes illuminated with life, giving faces to the now humanly figures, and up above walk none other than Lynn Gunn, Brian MacDonald, and Alex Babinski — members of Massachusetts-based alternative band, PVRIS.

          Following the release of two new singles — “Death of Me” and “Hallucinations” — PVRIS embarked on a short, 8-show run of intimate headliners, their journey beginning at the sold out El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, CA on September 6th.  

          Nostalgia filled the room as the three-piece paid homage to their humble roots by beginning the rocking night with the fan favorite, “Mirrors,” from 2014’s White Noise (the band’s debut album). Ghostly metaphors flowed from the lips of vocalist Lynn Gunn, the audience feeling the music run as deeply within them as Gunn’s visibly expressed sincerity. 

          Second on the setlist was the most recently released single, “Hallucinations.” Its crystal-like harmonies created the soundtrack to a party of angels dancing through the heavens above, soon exploding into a dreamy hypnosis of ethereal beats and softened vocals. 

          The rest of the night proved to be a perfect mix of PVRIS classics — such as “Fire,” “Smoke,” “Holy,” “You and I,” and the long-last-played “Eyelids” — and newer favorites — including none other than “Anyone Else,” “Half,” “Heaven,” “Winter,” and “What’s Wrong.” Though my feet lay atop the ground below me, coming up every once in a while in lively jolts of excitement, I felt myself floating on air. PVRIS have a way of making one feel like they’ve transcended into a world beyond reality, finding themselves in a distant paradise where mystic shadows roam the streets and where catharsis reigns as king. There’s just something beautiful about the way such metaphorically deadly lyrics can make one feel so alive, and about the way the piercingly soothing rhythms fill one’s soul with ease. 

          Before ending with an encore, PVRIS performed yet another recent single — “Death of Me.” Gunn, McDonald, and Babinski gave the song their all, with Gunn encouraging the audience to jump to the beat and the members themselves headbanging along. 

          Carrying this energy with them, and almost as if it were a commemorating goodbye to their early years, PVRIS ended the night with the much beloved “St. Patrick” and “My House.” A riled up crowd sang from the top of its lungs, taking with it every ounce of liberating joy prior to making its descent back to earth. Lights flashed red and white, and Gunn’s voice rang as powerful as that of a siren's. But the music soon started to fade, little by little until at last it became a distant memory, a dream one wishes they had never woken up from.