Love Alvvays: A Review of the Alvvays show at Barboza on December 2nd

I rolled out of bed and drove to my internship on a seemingly average summer day. But as I downed my 7 a.m. cup of coffee, and caffeine began to pump through my veins (does caffeine work like that? I have no idea) I stumbled across a song that would quickly become my go-to jam. This song was “Party Police” by Alvvays and it was the most perfect mix of melancholy and catchy that I had heard in a long time.

I probably listened to it 10 times that day. My boss quizzically checked up on me more then once that summer, mistaking my awful rendition of the song as a sign of distress. So as the band came on stage and began their set at Barboza, I was pretty stoked.

My friends would learn to hate Alvvays, as I would play them everywhere. Even at parties. And as wonderful as Alvvays is, they do not make music tailored for parties. So I lost a lot of DJ privileges trying to play Alvvays and dampening the mood. On the night of the show, two dudes in front of me seemed to have the opposite idea, as they drunkenly began to try to bring the party to Alvvays. They jumped around bumping into everyone in the near vicinity and were just all around obnoxious. I was having trouble deciding if the situation was more annoying or funny, when one of the guys took off their shirt to reveal a sweat-drenched wife-beater. I decided on annoying. But right around then, the band broke out into “Party Police”. I was captivated and the jumping drunk sweaty men seemed to disappear from the venue.

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At a lesser show, two hyped up people drunkenly trying to mosh to music not made for moshing, would have most definitely ruined the show for me. But that was not the case on December 2nd at Barboza. Sure they were annoying. But the cute banter of Molly Rankin (vocals/guitar) paired with those rolling guitar riffs live and a venue where everyone was digging one of my favorite releases of the year was more than enough to find me leaving the venue pleased. As the band finished their set, they wasted no time getting off the stage and heading to the merch table to chat with fans. Alvvays makes pop that is both sad and uplifting. It’s genuine and void of the sugar coating that much of pop gravitates to. And their live show contained much of those same characteristics. It’s a show I won’t soon forget, and not because of two obnoxious drunk dudes.


Geran Landen / Baby Sloth Shepard / KXSU Music Director

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