Lofty Cries with Trembling Thighs.

4 02 2013

Purity-Ring-Toronto-Feb-2013-2Despite the looming threat of a weighty snowstorm descending on Buffalo later in the evening, I made the trek up north to see Purity Ring take the stage at Toronto’s Phoenix Concert Theatre this past Friday (February 1st, 2013). I had already accepted the fact that I would commute at a snail’s pace on the QEW should the weather turn unfavorable. I refused to miss the chance to see this band play as their debut record has rarely left my turntable since its release in June of last year.

Dream pop. Synthpop. Minimalist electronica. It’s kind of unfair to label Purity Ring with any specific category. Listening to their music is like sinking into a haunting fairy tale that is both beautiful and macabre.

The appropriate use of atmospheric light is obviously an imperitive element for the band’s live performances. Illuminated cocoons like the chrysalides of some futuristic, alien butterflies hung from the ceiling above the stage. Megan James would float around with what appeared to be a portable type of lamp one would often see at a construction site. A free-standing bass drum radiated a yellow glow each time it was struck during key moments of the set and Colin Roddick’s synthesizer/xylophone/musical Lite-Brite hybrid was something like I’ve never seen before; a post-apocalyptic instrument to bring gleaming melodies to the denizens of some dystopian, industrial city.

Luminous stage presence, angelic vocals, and an indescribable aural aesthetic all combined to make for a memorable evening. Afterwards, I was able to emerge from this dreamy ghost story about a mile away from home… just as the snow started falling.

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