What to Do Tonight: The Church

Under the milky gaze
  • Under the milky gaze

Even though it doesn’t sound particularly conducive to recreating their sonically dense music, Aussie alt-rockers the Church have been performing acoustic on their last couple U.S. tours. The format is partially a function of adapting to smaller venues and not having the budget to lug around a bunch of gear and guitar techs from the Land Down Under. That may turn off fans who are ready to soak up the shoegaze guitars and lush arrangements that distinguish the band’s albums, but drummer Tim Powles says the unplugged tours have gone so well that the group may record its next album that way. “I think people have been surprised at how big the band sounds in that format,” he says. “We have never made an album of new material that sounds like that. I get frustrated when people become obsessed with whether it’s the electric or acoustic tour. Why can’t it just be the tour?” The most recent tour isn’t just any tour. It’s a 30th anniversary jaunt marking the anniversary when the band first played together. The Church had a brief brush with the mainstream when 1988’s Starfish yielded the moody radio hit “Under the Milky Way,” but there’s a cult fan base out there that expects to hear plenty of obscure tunes in concert. “The aim is to provide the necessary crowd-pleasers but also drop in songs we’ve never, ever played,” says Powles. “It’ll be interesting to see how it comes along. It may narrow the audience. In other ways, it may extend it.” The Church play the Winchester at 8 p.m. Tickets: $35. —Jeff Niesel