Canadian indie rock stars Alvvays, had a very successful year in 2022 with the release of their new album Blue Rev that received high critical acclaim from both Canadian and American media sources. One of the biggest music publications in North America being Sterogum listed Blue Rev as the number one album release of the year in 2022. Alvvays decided to finish off this huge year with two sold out homecoming shows at HISTORY in their home base of Toronto, Canada. I could personally draw a parallel with this concept as well since 2022 was also my biggest year when it comes to concert photography and I couldn’t ask for a better finish then to cover one of my favourite bands. Opening the show was the fellow indie-rock group Slow Pulp who have a similar feel musically and their overall presentation. The main difference between the bands is Alvvays is undeniably Canadian and Slow Pulp being natives of Madison, Wisconsin just south of the border in the United States. Of course both bands are no stranger to cold weather as Alvvays calls Toronto as their home which gets regular winters but surprisingly is still slightly warmer then Madison being situated in the flat planes of the mid-west. Slow Pulp opened on almost on all the show dates of the fall 2022 leg of the Blue Rev tour. The American pop-rock group has just announced their official signing to Anti-Records along with some new tour dates for May 2023 with the classic alternative rock band The Pixies so check Slow Pulp out when they come to your area.Slow Pulp would give way to the main event of the night being Alvvays who would go on to give a full dose of Blue Rev to the sold out crowd at HISTORY. The band hit the stage with a blast of new lo-fi, indie-rock while playing the first three songs being “Pharmacist”, then “After The Earthquake” and third was the 2017 hit single “In Undertow”. Alvvays would use of the venue’s HD video screen at the back of the stage most notably during “After The Earthquake” when they played the music video of the old VHS footage of the early 90’s model car driving on the dirt road during the performance. The group would play a full 19 song set that was mostly comprised of the full Blue Rev album with some old classics mixed in. One notable song missing from the Blue Rev album would be “Title By Title” but almost all other tracks would make the set from my recollection. The lead singer of Alvvays Molly Rankin would take sometime between songs and talk a bit about the pandemic and how these shows were the first time playing back in Toronto. Right before the performance of their song “Party Police” Molly would joke about how we were all locked down for two years and had to deal with the real party police. Of course, back in 2014 when that song was originally released it held a very different meaning but now in post-pandemic times we can look at it in a more literal way. The concert concluded with a two song encore which were “Lottery Noises” and one of my favourite songs off the band’s self titled debut album from 2014 titled “Atop a Cake”. In store for Alvvays in 2023 is a short Canadian tour then an early summer tour across some various countries in Europe. Also, a new Toronto concert was just announced for this summer at the Budweiser Stage with Alex G.
For your viewing pleasure, check out the gallery + video clip of Alvvays playing the song “Saved by a Waif” live at History on December the 15th, 2022. This video and more available now on the Musik Mirage YouTube channel. Be sure to follow Alvvays on Instagram for all future updates on the band @alvvaysband.
Article & Photos By Kyle McNeil(@trueaspectmedia)