Purity Ring: the Bubblegum Synthpop Epic

Brooklyn Bowl, June 23

Photo by Chase Stevens/Kabik Photo Group

Photo by Chase Stevens/Kabik Photo Group

EDC Las Vegas might have passed, but Purity Ring’s production and stage props would’ve been a perfect fit on festival grounds. The Canadian synthpop duo’s hourlong set was all theatrics—think of it as a cheesy post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie where light is a scarce commodity. And they had a lot of it. Singer Megan James played the light goddess for the evening, appearing as a hip Queen Victoria (her outfit was complete with puffy sleeves) mixed with Princess Leia. She played around with flashing orbs of light attached to ropes that were dangling from the ceiling while hitting the falsetto in “repetition,” and commanded the orbs to light up with a flick of the wrist during “Lofticries.” On the other hand, Corin Roddick was part Blue Man Group, part Flume. As the only instrumentalist onstage, he played leading melodies by striking eight light cocoons with drumsticks, and left the percussive low end to sampling pads.

If this were a movie, the climax definitely happened during the rambunctious “dust hymn.” During the turbulent buildup, James got on a ladder and struck a suspended lit Taiko drum that symbolized the moon throughout the set. The duo ended its performance with “begin again,” and James broke the fourth wall by finally acknowledging the packed venue: “This will be our last song. Thank you.” ★★★★✩

Photos by Chase Stevens / Kabik Photo Group


stranger than earth
push pull
sea castle
dust hymn
flood on the floor
stillness in woe
begin again

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