Live! Purity Ring @ The Black Cat (11/09/11)
Heading into the Backstage of The Black Cat, crowded with flannel-clad hipsters and the like, I knew not what to expect from a live performance by Purity Ring. After all, the self-desrcribed “future pop” duo of Megan James and Corin Roddick has yet to even release a proper album. They’ve been riding on the wave of a two-track 7”, which included the title track, “Ungirthed” and my personal favorite, “Lofticries” as the b-side. Later in the summer, by adding a definite third track, “Belispeak”, into their repertoire, Purity Ring had only added fuel to the fire of anticipation for a full EP release.
With all that being said, it came as a surprise to me to see Purity Ring headlining a tour with only three known songs on the airwaves. I wasn’t mad at that, but more curious. How many other dope songs are they holding?! Turns out they had enough for a full 45 minute performance on a impressively sonic level.
Purity Ring first hit the stage with an unknown that was so bass-heavy and sensual, with James’ innocent cry filling the crowded room. Roddick looked like he was playing some sort of plumbing pipe instrument, which was extremely curious. Turns out, it was some sort of DIY synthesizer that also played different notes like a drum machine. He was also using a MIDI controller to play beats and chop up James’ vocals right then and there. James, in all of her angelic purity, handled the task of slamming a bass drum and controlling her own hand-held lighting, in addition to luring us all in with her sweet, siren songs. We were all so infatuated that by the end of the night we begged for an encore but James regrettably returned empty-handed, claiming they just didn’t have any more songs. It was so terribly cute, you just couldn’t find it in your heart to be disappointed.
Every song maintained its original structure. Absolutely nothing was lost in its live performance. In fact, Purity Ring added so many more textures right before your eyes. They are quite the dynamic duo. Their performance made me an even more fervent believer in the DIY culture, but also made me wonder what kind of level Purity Ring could rule if they played in bigger venues with the help of a professional tour crew. With no doubt in my mind, I think it’d be huge.