Purity Ring’s music has an intensely personal feel, like a peek at the scrapbook/diary entries of a troubled teenage girl. It’s fitting, then, that their live show felt hand-made. The stage was draped with papier-mâché lanterns, and the music was produced by a custom-built tree-instrument, featuring drum-pads that produced xylophonic notes and flashed with their own delicate lights. Even the merch bench featured singlets hand-made by the singer, Megan James.
I arrived to the show a little jittery, thanks to a combination of afternoon beers and a late night energy drink to wake me up (it was a school night!), but the rice-paper delicacy of the electronica through which wisps of James’ otherworldly vocals twisted brought me to a different place, a place of calm where I could drift and sway in an imagined breeze.
Purity Ring may not make my “favourite concerts of 2013” list, but playing subtle songs best enjoyed in the comfort of one’s own bedroom, they put on an engaging and memorable show to a sold-out, appreciative crowd. The moment when “Fineshrine,” my favourite song of 2012, soared and captured the audience in its wake will certainly be among my best live moments of the year.
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