With hits such as “Fineshrine” and “begin again,” Purity Ring has undeniably become one of the past decade’s most dynamic and impactful electronic pop duos. What began as a late-night music project has developed into a musical project that spans over a decade, three albums, an EP, and multiple tours.
Hitting the road for the first time in more than five years, the Edmonton, Canada-based duo recently finished their two-month North American Tour De Womb. The name seems to originate from the band’s 2020 album release Womb, the tour was postponed twice in the last two years. Memorial Day weekend Purity Ring kicked it off in Bakersfield, California, by performing at the renowned west coast festival Lightning in a Bottle. The duo then made their way to legendary venues such as Washington DC’s 9:30 Club and Webster Hall in New York City. On the second to last night of the tour, Purity Ring delivered an otherworldly performance at an iconic Los Angeles venue, The Wiltern.
Opening for Purity Ring was feel-good pop artist Dawn Richard AKA DAWN. Her upbeat and feel-good set was perfectly contrasted by the act that followed after. Setting the stage for Purity Ring was fellow Canadiana act EKKSTACY. The emotionally driven artist performed on a dark stage with his guitarist and drummer, delivering a short, compelling set that fused a spectrum of genres, most notably post-punk, synth wave, and indie rock. With song titles like “I walk this earth all by myself,” EKKSTACY delivered his emotionally driven lyrics without adding much weight. His set seemed to elegantly dance between the feelings of hope, gloom, and angst, perfectly setting the stage for Purity Ring.
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Lead singer Megan James took the center stage wearing a KN95 mask which seemed to perfectly complement the band’s request for everyone in the audience to wear a mask for their entire set. Producer Corin Roddick was stationed behind a translucent screen in an elaborate booth surrounded by LEDs. As Purity Ring began its hypnotizing set, elaborate awe-inspiring psychedelic visuals were projected onto the screen. The mesmerizing visual imagery induced the crowd into a state of hypnotic trance. While James captivated the audience with her ethereal vocals, Roddick took his traditional post in his tree-shaped instrument to drive forward the show’s spellbinding lighting and dynamic sound.
Starting with two newer songs, “pink lightning” and “soshy” before making their way into older tunes, “Obedear” and “I like the devil,” Purity Ring won over the crowd with their pitch-perfect mixture of euphoria-inducing electronic pop. Highlights of the set included “Bodyache” and the duo’s unforgettable remix of Alice Deejay’s “Better Off Alone.” Finishing off the night with fan favorite “Fineshrine” and the title track from the Graves EP, Purity Ring’s sonically rich set was perfectly accompanied by cosmic visuals which seemed suggestive of higher states of consciousness.
Read more about Purity Ring here.
As the show was about to end, James graciously thanked the audience and her crew for making the tour possible despite the many challenges of today’s world. Ending their performance with the beloved “Begin Again,” Purity Ring left the audience in a daze. Since already rereleasing shrines with three new tracks this past week, the future is looking brighter than ever for Purity Ring.