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Show Review: CHVRCHES and Cafuné have a perfect alt-pop moment at Marquee Theatre

CHVRCHES’ Screen Violence Tour is on a victory lap, crisscrossing North America and covering ground they didn’t get to last year — including, thankfully, the Valley. Quite frankly, they were overdue for their return. And as an extra treat, Cafuné has joined the tour and softened the edges of the horror-themed show.  

Despite Cafuné’s TikTok fame (“Tek It” went viral in early June), it was an older crowd that packed the venue early to hear Sedona Schat’s dreamy vocals and Noah Yoo’s accompanying instrumentals. 

“Cafuné” roughly translates to “the act of running your fingers through a loved one’s hair” in Brazilian Portuguese, and the name captures the duo’s style quite well. The music is soft pop rock with vulnerable lyrics — the makings of indie darlings. 

As Schat introduced the touring band, she mentioned nearly all of them had parents in the audience, so it was an extra special show. Sure enough, a few fans standing toward the back were proudly filming, while the group on stage was all smiles. “They’re so much cooler than us,” Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES insisted later on. 

But before her interlude thanking the openers and the fans, she was “busy doing Final Girl shit.” The trope of the Final Girl, the one who survives the horrors of the plot, is a major motif of Screen Violence and one that Mayberry leaned heavily into throughout the show. From the “Halloween” theme music intro to the fake blood that covered Mayberry’s neck and arms in the encore, the set was the perfect primer for spooky season. 

That’s not to say CHVRCHES has strayed from the sparkly synth pop that put them on the map. The setlist touched on every album in their catalog, and even deeper cuts like “Science/Visions” had the crowd dancing. Iain Cook and Martin Doherty periodically stepped out from behind their keyboards, but this time around, they gave Mayberry the spotlight. And she used it to tell stories about previous performances in Arizona, to theorize The Marquee is haunted, and to speak up in favor of abortion access. 

For the (fake) bloody encore, CHVRCHES hit us with the one-two punch of “The Mother We Share” and “Clearest Blue.” Jumping in unison with the fans below, the band closed out their most memorable performance yet. 

Check out all the photos from the show!

Story and photos by Taylor Knauf

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