After two postponements, synthpop duo Purity Ring made their way to Ft. Lauderdale’s Revolution Live in support of their latest record “WOMB” released in February 2020. Between the release and canceled tour dates, the group also released a new EP entitled “Graves” with a noisier sound.
Kicking off the show was Vancouver-based artist Ekkstacy, whose infusion of Soundcloud emo trap and bedroom indie rock has gained the young singer an online following amongst Gen Z. Having collaborated with The Drums, the post-rock sound of the combo has influenced more of Ekkstacy’s live music, with less brooding instrumentals and more Strokes-esque, tight rock riffs. On stage, the singer stood bathed in red light, eyes concealed mostly by his dreadlocks. His presence as a performer avoids the gaze of the audience, taking puffs of a vape pen between tracks. Though some of his lyrics have a raw, cathartic sense that evoke some of the unrefined sense of emo trap artists like Lil Peep and Juice WRLD, the evolution of his sound may indicate some more mature songwriting down the line.
With producer Corin Roddick playing a custom synth-trigger known as the “light cocoons” behind a projection screen, Megan emerged onto the stage in a windbreaker fabric hoodie, shaped by ruching giving James an almost alien appearance. Starting with “pink lightning” from their latest record, the band played primarily newer tracks from their two latest releases. However, with the upcoming 10-year anniversary of their debut album “shrines” Purity Ring well-represented their record with hits like “Obedear” and “Fineshrine.”
What makes the show so enthralling is the visual design. A combination of abstract projection glitch art, synchronized with Corin’s light show on the synth pads, is heightened by the costumes worn by Megan that portrayed the singer as an otherworldly figure with a formless shape. The evolution of the costumes on stage reach an epoch when Megan performs “rubyinsides” in a massive, tent-like gown as the singer towers above the crowd, nearly touching to the second floor of Revolution. With the singer already on a platform equipped with lights, the effect is pulled off with a fairly low-tech setup but on-stage the result is breathtaking, larger than life performance from the singer.
Before the band walked onto the stage, a voiceover from singer Megan James kindly asked that the audience please wear masks to help allow the group to keep touring without having to cancel or reschedule dates due to COVID, even having staff provide N95 masks with the band’s logo printed on them throughout the venue. Most of the front row and scattered people across the venue obliged, however the singer did note mid-show that this audience was one of the lowest to comply with the simple request. As artists continue to navigate COVID, with musicians like Phoebe Bridgers moving her tour to only outdoor venues to artists like Death Cab for Cutie asking for negative tests or vaccine documentation, Purity Ring are working around the pandemic by both wearing medical grade masks on stage. Even with Megan’s vocal presence, her modified and auto-tuned voice behind a mask did not detract at all from her performance which features the singer’s illustrative lyricism.
i like the devil
Knife Prty (Deftones Cover)
Better Off Alone (Alice Dee Cover)