Canadian electronic pioneers Purity Ring unleashed a meteor shower of bright colour and melodic energy on an adoring crowd at the Vogue Monday night. Edmonton’s Megan James and Corin Roddick have carved out their niche in the world of future pop, and the sparkling sound they debuted on 2012’s Shrines is fully realized in their live performance.
This February’s sophomore release Another Eternity charts forward with the crystalline vocals and otherworldly, aggressive beats of its predecessor. Kicking off the show with album highlight “stranger than earth” was a great place to start, followed by “heartsigh”, “bodyache” and others and closing with the incredible “begin again”.
Last time Purity Ring graced us with their presence at the Vogue, their mesmerizing performance centred around a custom-built instrument of torch-like percussion pieces, each glowing and playing a note when struck by Roddick. Last night again featured this signature “drum kit”, but rather than looking garage-crafted, the 2.0 upgraded version for this tour was sleek and symmetrical. The stage was alight with vines of luminous bead-curtain strands, all working in time with the music, instrument and vocals. It was a beautiful show to behold.
An unfortunate incident occurred about three songs in. James, in between songs, informed the audience that a front-row fan had grabbed her ass mid-performance. “Don’t fucking do that,” warned James, “it’s not cool. You should probably leave.” After calling out the offender, and earning supportive applause from the crowd for doing so, she carried right on confidently with the show. Huge respect for James for not putting up with that shit for a second.
This incredibly talented duo deserve the widest of acclaim from Canadian music fans, having created a sound so unique and of-the-moment, imitators around the world are taking note. You’ll certainly be hearing more from Purity Ring at shows, festivals and record shops down the road.