"Their evolution from anthemic, synthy post-hardcore heroes to slick alt-pop machine is laid bare." Pvris show few signs of looking backwards as they bewitch London's Troxy

Lyndsey Gunnulfsen's refusal to compromise on her vision is paying dividends in style

Lyndsey Gunnulfsen
(Image: © India Flemming)

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There's no getting around it: Lyndsey Gunnulfsen is cool as fuck. As Pvris' chameleonic talisman casually strides around, guitar in hand, grinning from ear to ear at the sight of 3,000-odd fans singing the hell out of My House, she looks a world away from the hyper-talented but self-conscious frontwoman this writer saw nervously take to the stage at the band's first London show at the tiny Barfly almost a decade ago. To be fair, that set was plagued with technical difficulties - something Gunnulfsen acknowledges with a chuckle at one point tonight - but the more the Boston singer-songwriter has taken centre stage in recent years, the more it's suited her. Tonight, the final show of their European tour, feels like a well-earned victory lap, and as much fun as everyone is clearly having, few seem to be enjoying it all quite as much as her.

Before all that, though, there's the not-so-small matter of an enjoyable but short set from rising, genre-splicing nu gen artist Sophie Powers and a fabulously lairy showing from Scene Queen, the latter of whom could be headlining venues like these in the not-too-distant future given the hype train that has followed her as of late. Packing a two-man backing band and a decidedly modest stage show for such a colourful and full-on character means there's the nagging feeling we're not quite getting the full Scene Queen experience tonight, but when you've got irrepressible bops like 18+ and Pink G-String in your arsenal, there's no way you're not gonna win people over. An appearance from Wargasm's Sam Matlock for a particularly rowdy Barbie & Ken is a highlight, as is a heartfelt speech about the influence Pvris has had on Scene Queen's life, music and ethos. 

As Lyndsey Gunnulfsen and her band - now consisting of drummer Denny Agosto and bassist Brian MacDonald - arrive on stage to screams of delight and launch into the propulsive, EDM-powered I Don't Wanna Do This Any More, Pvris' evolution from anthemic, synthy post hardcore heroes to slick alt-pop machine is laid bare. It's the first of many cuts from last year's defiant but divisive Evergreen to air tonight - all but one track from the album are played, in fact - consolidating Gunnulfsen's steadfast belief in the course she currently has Pvris steered towards.

That's not to say Pvris are ignoring their past; tracks from across their entire catalogue get an airing tonight, including six picks from beloved debut album White Noise (albeit most of those, tellingly, appearing in abridged form). "You look beautiful, hot, confident, fun," Gunnulfsen tells an adoring and increasingly hyped audience after a blast through some of the band's more energetic numbers, before Love Is A... signals a run of slower, more vulnerable songs ("We're getting it over with early!" she jokes). 

Everything, no matter the pace or style, is lapped up; some fans can be seen crying, phones aloft, during the set's more intimate moments, others try to spark mosh pits at the drop of a riff. "I love it, a bunch of men on men!" Gunnulfsen smirks to peals of laughter; when she's not lightly bantering the crowd, she's waltzing over to lead her bandmates through a mini jamming sesh, a rock star with all the chops and charisma but, it seems, very little of the ego. 

As Scene Queen returns to the stage to sing (and twerk) her way through a riotous Goddess with her idol, it's clear that while few would have predicted Pvris looking and sounding quite like this ten years ago, their fearlessness is now paying dividends, and it feels like their journey is still barely beginning. "I don't know what to say up here," laughs Gunnulfsen. "I wanna connect but I'm fucking awkward." To be honest, she doesn't need to say much at this point: Pvris would have had The Troxy in the palm of their hand without breaking a sweat.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.