Alvvays played Roadrunner – 11/18

Canadian indie-pop quintet Alvvays closed out their fall tour with a packed show at Allston’s Roadrunner.

Alvvays have not-so-secretly been one of the best bands working in the indie rock realm for the past decade. Their eponymous 2014 debut was an instant-classic slice of jangle-pop gold, and they doubled down three years later with the even-better Antisocialites. The subsequent five-year break brought about October’s Blue Rev which, while not a wild departure from its predecessors, introduced a new spectrum of sonic texture to the band’s arsenal and garnered their most enthusiastic reviews yet.

All that buzz (plus a few years off the road) helped catapult the band to some of their biggest-ever headlining gigs this fall, which included the massive glow-up from Comm Ave’s cramped Paradise to the spacious new Roadrunner earlier this month. Alvvays don’t exactly play with a stadium-sized stomp, but they had no trouble stretching out to fill the bigger room.

Blue Rev‘s shoegazier tones sounded sparkling over a big room PA, and the older songs rose to the occasion, too. On top of the majority of the new material, we got about half of each preceding record, which stirred up a jubilant push-pit to favorites like “Marry Me Archie.” Bless the kids of Boston, they’ll always figure out a way to mosh.

Singer/guitarist Molly Rankin did what little talking there was to do on stage, in keeping with the band’s generally unassuming presence. Even their onstage visuals – a bigger-screen version of the rear-stage projection montages they’ve brought to previous Paradise gigs – felt designed to shift one’s eyes away from the musicians themselves. Not many bells or whistles to be found here, just a bulletproof ~33 song discography that doesn’t need ’em.

Wisconsin four-piece Slow Pulp handled opening duties, channeling a grungier, murkier counterpoint to their hosts with a kindred pop sensibility shining through. Didn’t hurt, from my perspective, that they played under some beautiful light too. Scroll down for photos of that and Alvvays’ set below.