I remember being in Buenos Aires, listening to the "Weekly Discovery" playlist of that music platform we all adore. Out of nothing, this catchy tune starts playing: a high riff, precise drums, a special voice…
“Next of Kin” became my summer soundtrack in a city that was burning. I instantly added it to my playlist, on a Tuesday evening of December 8th 2015. Time has passed and suddenly, here I am, on a Thursday night of September 14th 2017, in a club in Berlin that I've never been to but has the coolest name: Musik & Frieden. I'm looking for a place to fit my whole being -that meaning myself, my camera and my huge backpack filled with lenses and a jacket- trying to check out the best way to get to the front from the back. A guy comes my way with a lantern. "Excuse me, thank you" - "Oh sure" - "Are you gonna be able to see anything from here?" -he laughs- "Follow me". I got to the side of the stage, I got lucky. He starts checking every microphone, the typical "one-two-one-two-three". Finally, I leave my pain-in-the-a$$-backpack somewhere safe, and just a few minutes after Alvvays start playing.
First chords of "Saved by a Waif" are filled with a blue light and lots of smoke. Dreamy. "Perfect for pictures", I think. First two songs and I'm still moving around the crowd to find a good view of the band, and it gets difficult but it's not impossible. Because people is in a good mood, they are having a good time, dancing and cheering every time the songs ends. They definitely want more. I want more! So I cheer too, I shoot, I dance, I shoot, I cheer, I shoot, I clap, I scream, I dance. I get to the front row and "Plimsoll Punks" starts playing, I feel like I'm in a concert in 1996. It's still dreamy and it's still perfection.
You can see that Molly, the lead singer and guitarist, is happy to be playing in this crowded venue. She interacts with the audience, she's in a super chill state of mind, or at least that's what I perceive. Down to earth would be a good description. She knows how to handle a crowd, how to be funny, emphatic, energetic. Alec, Alvvays' guitarist, is also interacting with the audience like we're all in his living room drinking beers and jammin' all together.
"Next of Kin" starts playing and all of the sudden my mind time-travels to a freezing bus with air-conditioner, to a super packed and super hot subway, one hour ride to the center of Buenos Aires: that was my way to work, every single day. I try to remain present and, most of all, thankful. "I'm finally listening to this live". They are playing and singing right there, a few meters from where I am, singing along and dancing with random people that also really likes the band. I love concerts! I'm feeling happy, I shoot, I clap, I sing, I dance, I cheer, I shoot, I dance…
The show comes to an ending, "Party Police" starts and I think we're all sad this is actually coming to an end. We could stay in this music communion forever. Drums are feeling powerful and precise, the synthesizers are feeling deep in my whole body, the bass accompanies the beating of my heart. I stay in the last row now, I watch people dancing, I smile, we all smile, we cheer, we're happy that it's a thursday night in Berlin and that Alvvays is our new Autumn soundtrack.
Complete set list:
- Saved by a Waif
- Adult Diversion
- In Undertown
- Plimsoll Punks
- Not my Baby
- Atop a Cake
- Forget About Life
- Your Type
- Next of Kin
- Ones Who Love You
- Dreams Tonite
- Party Police
Text und Fotos: Paula McAllister