After releasing their self-titled debut album this past July, Alvvays (pronounced always) came to the states on tour and played in Pomona, CA at the Acerogami for Thanksgiving Eve. Alvvays is a Canadian indie pop band with heavy influences of 60s surf-pop that met up with the 90s for a reunion of dreamy feels.
The venue is a small, asymmetrical building that engulfed everyone in a friendly and inviting atmosphere, especially for first time goers. The stage is parallel to the bar and slowly blends away from the tables that hover over shaggy red carpet cutouts, perfectly placed under each table’s base, on the wood panels. It was a pre-thanksgiving feast at the Acerogami, where boxes of Pizza Hut were provided for free along with the show.
This was an all-ages event, and the audience varied from the youthful anticipating teen to the young adult sipping a beer. Plaid was as far as the eye could see and my stockings and Oxford shoes fit in fine. Opening act, Absolutely Free, played from 9 pm and was a more psychedelic version of the indie-pop genre; a great warm up band to dance to.
The moment Alvvays went on stage and had their instruments in sight, they began to play “Agency.” Each member of the band exuded this easy-feel wave of the mid 90s; striped shirts, neon colors for the gents, and casual tee’s and jogger pants for the ladies. “Agency” is a very feel good mellow song that was an interesting choice to start off their set. As the first song ended, lead singer and guitarist, Molly Rankin, quickly chimed in to interact with her audience.
“We’re from Canada, does anyone know where that is?” The audience cheered and Alvvays dove straight into “Adult Diversion,” their second upbeat single. “Ones Who Love You,” took a slower approach with more heartfelt vocals brought on by Rankin and Alec O’Hanley. They decided to pick up the mood again with “Atop a Cake,” a fun surf-esque melody.
“Underneath Us” immediately caught my attention, with heavy guitar distortions and a kind of new wave 90s revival sound to it. I instantly fell in love with this song. “Next of Kin” was more of a dance song compared to others, and the crowd was fully alive at this point. “Dives” continued on the crowd’s energy, a mellow doo-wop indie-fused track with the dreamy vocals and guitars that Alvvays is known for.
“I want to thank anyone who has listened to our record,” Rankin interrupted again before going on to the next song. The crowd applauded in the spirit of Thanksgiving Eve glee and a familiar riff filled the room. “Archie” was the crowd pleaser, and by the time the chorus came up, “Hey, hey / marry me Archie” flooded the room alongside Rankin’s voice.
“Party Police” was a song that stood out from the rest that night. Rankin’s vocals were soft and powerful as she sang, “You don’t have to leave / you can just stay here with me.” The last song of the night was “Your Type.” The high-paced momentum of this song left their set with a feeling of completion and high energy and it drew out the crowd to want an encore. Minutes later, the band reemerged and played two more songs not on the Alvvays album.
Fans of Alvvays will not be disappointed when seeing them later on their tour throughout next year. They are a group of talented and humble individuals who did their album justice and put on a great show for their fans.